Helminth Infection among Children Living in an Urban Area in Tropical Countries: A Systematic Review


  • Sharifah Saffinas Syed Soffian Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia image/svg+xml https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2721-3084
  • Mazni Baharom Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Siti Maisara Amir Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Nor Izyani Bahari Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1979-216X
  • Mohd Rohaizat Hassan Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4658-6532
  • Syed Sharizman Syed Abdul Rahim Departmemt of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia
  • Mohammad Saffree Jeffree Departmemt of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0373-4451
  • Abdul Rahman Ramdzan Departmemt of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1067-7640
  • Azman Atil Departmemt of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia
  • Khalid Mokti Departmemt of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3547-9923
  • Mohd Faizal Madrim Departmemt of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia
  • Muhammad Aklil Abd Rahim Departmemt of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1087-4444
  • Zulkhairul Naim Bin Sidek Ahmad Departmemt of Public Health Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia; Department of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia




Helminth infection, Children, Urban, Prevalence, Risk factor, Impact




Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of preventable and treatable diseases, in which soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are among the most common infections worldwide.  Most affected are the children and this review aims to identify the prevalence, risk factors and impact of STH in an urban area. 




This review was guiding using PRISMA review protocol incorporating the research question of “What is the prevalence, risk factors and impact of helminth infection among urban children in tropical countries?". The databases used in this review include SCOPUS, WEB OF SCIENCE, OVID MEDLINE and PUBMED. The articles used include observational and interventional studies conducted among children aged 18 years and less from 2010 to 2020. The main outcome measure was risk factors of STH infection seen in urban children includes social backgrounds, sanitation and policy.





From the initial 973 articles found in the database searching, only 13 articles selected for qualitative synthesis after exclusion and screening for eligibility done. The overall prevalence of helminth infection among urban children ranges from 4.8-48.9%. The associated factor that influences helminth infection among children living in an urban area are age, male more common than female, low socioeconomic status, low parents’ education level, living in an urban slum or crowded area, low water quality and sanitation practice and poor hygiene practice. The deworming tablets consumption acts as protective factors for helminth infections. The medium haemoglobin value was significantly lower in helminth-infected children compared to uninfected children and the stunting, underweight as well as moderate acute malnutrition were attributable to helminth infections.





The prevalence and intensity of helminthiasis were heterogeneous among urban areas of developing countries, however, the endemicity is still high. Further efforts including healthy policies, continuous national deworming programmes and multi-sectoral partnership are required to reduce the prevalence of helminthiasis in the urban area.


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How to Cite

Soffian SSS, Baharom M, Amir SM, Bahari NI, Hassan MR, Rahim SSSA, Jeffree MS, Ramdzan AR, Atil A, Mokti K, Madrim MF, Rahim MAA, Ahmad ZNBS. Helminth Infection among Children Living in an Urban Area in Tropical Countries: A Systematic Review. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2023 Jan. 6 [cited 2024 Apr. 23];11(F):134-42. Available from: https://oamjms.eu/index.php/mjms/article/view/11176



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