Prevalence of helicobacter pylori in children less than three years of age as seen in health facilites in Nairobi province.
Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is among the most common infections in humans and has been recognized as a cause of gastroduodenal diseases. Data on prevalence in children is mainly from industrialised countries and ranges from less than 5 % in the under fives to about 10% in the adolescent group. The data available from the African region report a prevalence ranging from 40% to 50% in the under fives. In Kenya a prevalence of 60% by the age of 10 years and 80% by the age of 15 years has been reported. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of Hpylori in children less than 3 years of age and to determine socio-demographic correlates of H.pvlori infection in these children Setting Nairobi Province, The well baby clinics. Subjects: Children less than 3 years of age Design: Cross sectional study. Methodology: Random selection of the well baby clinics in Nairobi province was done and consecutive sampling of the children and mothers who gave consent and met the inclusion criteria were recruited into the study. Data was entered into a questionnaire. A stool sample was obtained from the child and finger prick whole blood from the mother was obtained. The stool was tested using a rapid test for H.Pylori antigen and the mother's blood was tested using a rapid test for H Py lori antibody. Results: A total of 195 children were analysed in the study. There were 103 (52.8%) males and 92(47.2%) females giving a male to female ratio of 1.1: 1. The mean age was 17.7 months and the median age was 16 months(range 2weeks to36months). H.Pylori antigen was found in stool of 89(45.6%) of the children. Low socioeconomic status, crowding in the homes and poor sanitation were associated with H.Pylori infection. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence rate of H.Pylori infection in children less than three years as found in this study which is in agreement with studies done in other developing countries. Family income is associated with H.Pylori infection and families with low income are at higher predisposition to H.Pylori infection when compared to families with high income,
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