The Prevalence of parasitic infection and Health risk behaviors of Thai Buddhist monks in Wachira Phayaban Region, Dusit District, Bangkok Metropolitan

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Nithikoon Aksorn
Ittisak Subrungruang
Lakhanawan Charoensuk
Picha Suwannahitatorn
Thanyaros Sinsophonphap
Sutiwat Poonyakariyakorn
Teeradon Karndee
Pannawat Arunotong
Parnrada Juicharoen
Warunyoo Prasitnok

Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence of parasitic infection and health risk behaviors among Buddhist monks


Methods: Thirty-six stool samples were collected from monks from Wat Thewarat Kunchon Worawihan, Wat Ratchapha Tikaram Worawihan, Wat Prasat Bunyawat and Wat Bot Samsen. All stool samples were microscopically examined using simple smear and formalin-ethyl acetate concentration technique (FECT). The information regarding health risk behaviors associated to parasitic infection was assessed using questionnaires. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.


Results: The prevalence of parasitic infection was 5.55 % comprised the pathogenic protozoan Giardia intestinalis (2.78%) and non-pathogenic protozoan Entamoeba coli (2.78%). Helminth infection was not found. Regarding the health risk behaviors associated to parasitic infection, most of the participants have never had eaten raw or undercooked fish (97.06%), salt-fermented fish (63.64%), raw or undercooked pork (90.62%) and raw or undercooked beef (87.50%). Concerning preventive behaviors, more than half always wore shoes when going outside the temple (69.44%), almost all of them drink bottled water (90.91%) , majority of them wash their hands sometimes before eating (66.66%), always washing hands after defecation (69.44%) and after touching pets or stray animals (62.5%). Regarding prevention of the spread behaviors, all monks used sanitary latrine (100%) but the knowledge about parasitic infection was only moderate (51.43%). Most of the participants have never had their stool examination for parasitic infection (91.7%) and more than half (62.86%) have never had anthelmintics.


Conclusion: Although the prevalence of parasite infections among monks is low but the risk behaviors of parasitic infection is still apprehensive. Therefore, monks should be encouraged to enhance healthcare knowledge for health risk reduction including promote appropriate hygiene for the prevention of parasitic infection.These results can be applied for health care planning and promoting the health of monks in the community in the future.

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