Infections with three kinds of parasitic worms – hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm – are collectively known as soil-transmitted helminths (STHs). These parasitic worm infections are widespread in Nigeria, but the exact distribution is poorly understood. In view of the global commitment to control STH infections, there is a need to accelerate the mapping of STH infections to guide control interventions, such as large-scale administration of deworming drugs.
In this study, we collated survey data from the year 2011 for Nigeria. The data were utilised to predict the distribution of STH infection based on environmental and socioeconomic covariates, and employing a Bayesian geostatistical modeling approach. Our results indicated that STH infections are widely distributed across Nigeria with prevalence estimates as high as 83% for roundworm, 50% for hookworm, and 19% for whipworm infections at specific survey locations.
We predict that 5.7 million school-aged children were infected with STHs. The numbers of deworming tablets for annual or bi-annual treatment of the school-aged population at local government areas level in Nigeria for 2011 were estimated to be 10.2 million.