Health Status: Malaria, Anemia and Intestinal Parasitic Infections on the Thai-Myanmar Border

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Nanthaporn Pothipak
Siripan Srivilairit
Chaweewan Pengruksa
Suparat Faithong
Orahtai Haohan
Kobsiri Chalermrut
Noppadon Tangpukdee
Pannamas Maneekan
Prayong Radomyos
Polrat Wilairatana
Sornchai Looareesuwan



We report a study of the health status of Sai Yok people living in Kanchanaburi Province, western Thailand, on the Thai-Myanmar border. Our report focused particularly on malaria, anemia, and intestinal parasitic infections. Falciparum malaria appeared not to be seasonal, with the prevalence in the dry month of February 2003 similar to the wet month of July 2003. In the fi rst survey in February 2003, the prevalence of P. falciparum and P. vivax was 0.1 and 0.5%, respectively. A second survey was conducted in July 2003, when the prevalence of P. falciparum was 0.4% and P. vivax 0.6%. There was no difference in malaria prevalence between dry and rainy seasons. In February, anemia in malaria patient was only found in one asymptomatic falciparum malaria patient (0.1%), whereas in July, anemia was not found in any malaria patient. Intestinal parasites were found in 398 (67.8%) of 587 people presenting for stool examination in February. The three most frequently found intestinal parasites were Entamoeba coli (19.4%), Giardia lamblia (13.1%), and Endolimax nana (10.0%). One month later, after the results of stool examinations had been obtained, antiparasitic drugs and health education were given to the infected population. In July, a second survey was conducted, and intestinal parasites were found in 323 (25.8%) of people coming for stool examination (n = 1,252). The three most frequently found intestinal parasites were E. coli (10.4%), G. lamblia (4.1%), and hookworm (2.2%). The prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections were reduced markedly from 67.8% in the fi rst survey to 25.8% in the second survey (p < 0.05). In summary, the prevalence of malaria and anemia was low (< 2%) among the Sai Yok people. There was a high, but falling, rate of intestinal parasitic infections.

Keywords: malaria; anemia; intestinal parasites; Thai-Myanmar

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