Journal of Applied Health Sciences and Medicine

Research Article

Studies of Parasitic and related health risk associated with Waste Scavengers OR Rag Pickers in Port Harcourt Nigeria

  • By C.A. Mbata, C. P. Aleru, C. J. Isomah, W.O. Welenya - 30 Aug 2023
  • Journal of Applied Health Sciences and Medicine, Volume: 3, Issue: 8, Pages: 1 - 10
  • Received: May 26, 2023; Accepted: August 19, 2023; Published: August 30, 2023


This study is on investigating the health risk of waste scavengers (rag pickers), and the microbial burden of the waste. Samples were collected from 8 dumpsites (7 dumpsites and 1 control) from different parts of Port Harcourt, analyzed for total heterotrophic count. A total of 100 subjects (80 ragpickers and 20 students as control) were examined for microbiological parameters. A well-structured questionnaire and oral interview were administered to the rag pickers. Ascaris was seen in 12 (35.29%) of the rag pickers and 2 (40%) of the control subjects. Also, Entamoeba histolytica was seen in 10 (29.41%) of the rag pickers, 2 (40%) of the control. Hookworm was seen in 8 (23.53%) of rag pickers, zero in control subjects, then Trichuris trichiura was seen in 4 (11.76%) of the rag pickers and 1 (20%) of the control. Widal test results which correlates with the stool culture indicates that they are prone to typhoid infection. The HIV and hepatitis tests were not significant. Malaria parasites was seen in 30 (57.68%) of the rag pickers. Despite the fact that rag pickers
make money from their business, they may serve as vehicle for infections and the health implication is of great concern.