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Intestinal Parasitic Infection Among Pregnant Women in Ethiopia: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Musa Mohammed Ali, Mulugeta Mengistu Mengesha and Siraj Hussen

Background: Intestinal parasites (IP) are responsible for morbidity of about 450 million people worldwide. Women of reproductive age in developing countries are disproportionately affected by IP. If left untreated, IP infection during pregnancy will persist throughout the period of pregnancy influencing the fetal immune system and other health related consequences. The aim of this review was to determine the pooled prevalence IP among pregnant women in Ethiopia.

Methods: Databases including MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, HINARI and reference lists of previous prevalence were systematically searched for relevant with no time limit. Results were presented in a forest plot, tables, and figures with a 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: The estimated pooled prevalence of IP among pregnant women in Ethiopia is 31.75% (95% CI: 22.20-41.30). Pooled prevalence of IP from Amhara, Oromia, South Ethiopia, Tigray, and Gambella was 31.72% (95% CI: 16.35-47.10), 29.04% (95% CI; 14.09-43.99), 29.48% (95% CI: 18.27-40.70), 29.29% (7.96-50.61), and 26.39% (21.84- 30.94) respectively. A pooled prevalence of 53.43 %(30.19-76.68) for studies conducted in the community. The most predominant parasite was Hookworm (11.46%) followed by A. lumbricoides (10.44%).

Conclusion: The pooled prevalence of IP among pregnant women in Ethiopia is high. The prevalence varies across regions, study period, and study settings. Hookworm and A. lumburicoides are the most prevalence IPs.