oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Nematode contamination in sandpits of registered pre-school facilities in Bloemfontein
This cross-sectional study focused on the detection of nematode eggs in the sandpits of registered pre-school facilities in the Bloemfontein area. Schools were drawn from a list of registered pre-school facilities in the Bloemfontein urea. Each sampled pre-school completed a questionnaire concerning the maintenance and usage of their sandpit(s). Sand samples were taken from respective sandpits and a method for the processing and microscopic investigation of the sand samples was adapted from Düwel. No parasitic elements were found at eight of the 22 pre-schools tested for nematode contamination. Toxocara species proved to he the dominant parasite eggs found in the sandpits (present at 12 facilities). The most successful frequency of sand replacement was shown to be six-monthly and the most effective treatment was methods incorporating the use of chlorine, either alone or in combination with salt and/or a disinfectant. The frequency of sand treatment, as well as covering of the sand pit, appeared to have little bearing on the prevention of contamination of the sand. Of the fenced in sand pits, 42.9% tested negative for nematode contamination, whereas only 25% of the non-fenced in sand pits tested negative. There was no marked improvement found in parasite contamination of sandpits inspected by health officials. Nematode contamination of sand pits in Bloemfontein pre-schools is a relevant concern. A protocol should he developed with regards to inspection of the sand pits by health inspectors and methods of treatment of the sand by the various institutions.
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