Parasitism and the Menace of Open defeacation in Nigeria (A Review).
Omolade Okwa1, Chukwudumebi Mordi2, and Esther Adefowope3
1Lagos State University, Nigeria, 2Lagos State University, Nigeria, and 3Lagos State University, Nigeria
Introduction: Parasitism is a biological interaction between two organisms of different species, the smaller one known as the parasite is metabolically dependent on the bigger one called the host. The parasite inflicts injury and may ultimately kill the host. Open defeacation (OD) is the human practice of emptying the bowels in an open space rather than a properly designed structure built purposely for handling human waste.
Statement of the Problem: OD is caused mainly by poverty, cultural misconceptions and lack of suitable toilets and the effect such as parasitism kills about 1.8 million people yearly, many of which are children. Nigeria is the third on the list of the top six countries in the world where OD is practiced with a rate of 27%. OD leads to contamination of soil, water bodies and vegetation with infectious cyst and oocyst stages of intestinal protozoa parasites, eggs of soil transmitted nematodes and larvae stages of various helminthes.
Objectives: Drinking water and aquatic environment are polluted by OD and this impact on human health and aquatic life. Educating the populace on personal hygiene, proper wastes disposal and the health implications of OD and other associated problems are essential if Nigeria plans to control and stop OD.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Provision of safe water and working public toilets in rural and urban areas are strongly recommended. Enforcement of sanitation laws and proper disposal of human waste is advocated. We conclude that Nigerians must awake and enhance a culture of sanitation and hygiene to bring these diseases of poverty to a drastic reduction.
Keywords: Open defeacation, Parasitism, Nigeria, Contamination, Soil transmitted nematodes.
Open defeacation, Parasitism, and Nigeria