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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-94

Helminthiases: a neglected cause for reproductive ill-health and social stigma

1 Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret 30100, Kenya
2 Department of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
3 Department of Biological Sciences, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega 50100, Kenya

Correspondence Address:
Mulambalah Chrispinus Siteti
PhD, Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret 30100
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-7942.175003

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Helminthic infections cause severe diseases (helminthiases) associated with significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Many individuals are not aware of the risks and complications of helminthiases in reproductive health; hence, the infections are often neglected, leading to severe outcomes. These infections are often misdiagnosed and result in miscarriages, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and increased risk of other conditions. Infected women of reproductive age often pass infections to their fetus during pregnancy and childbirth, which consequently affects their growth and development. In addition, the resultant morbidity affects the economic productivity and quality of life of individuals and communities. For the present review, both electronic (PubMed, Medline, EBSCO host, Science Direct) and manual literature were searched for relevant articles. The review highlights emerging issues on clinical manifestations, risks, and complications. Besides impairment of reproductive health in developing countries, helminthiases increase the transmission of viral, fungal, and bacterial infections, and promote stigma and sex inequality. The clinical and social impact of these neglected, forgotten infections largely considered to be of low public health importance is discussed. Because of the immense and increasing impact on global health and development, health professionals are encouraged to confer high priority to helminthiases.

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