The Prevalence of Ectoparasites among Displaced People Living in Displacement Camps: Duhok Province, Iraqi Kurdistan
Background: Displaced people are susceptible to the same diseases including parasitic diseases. This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of ectoparasites (scabies and pediculosis) among displaced people living in displacement camps in Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan. Methods: A total of 3,925 displaced people from five camps around the city of Duhok were included in the study. These individuals included males and females ages 8 months–60 years. The subjects were clinically examined in the camps’ health centers for the presence of ectoparasites, certain types of skin lesions, and a rash suggestive of scabies. For head lice, screening was performed by examining the scalp for lice and nits. The obtained information was subsequently recorded in a pre-designed anonymous questionnaire. Results: Out of the 3,925 total subjects who were examined, 672 (17.12%) were found to be infested with ectoparasites: 395 with scabies (10.06%; Females: 210, Males: 185), and 277 with pediculosis (7.05%; Females: 182, Males: 95). The highest rates of infestation, both scabies and pediculosis, were found in Domize1 camp (5.15%; 2.93% for scabies and 2.21% for pediculosis). Females showed a slightly higher prevalence than males (53.25% versus 46.75%, respectively). The highest prevalence of scabies was observed in the age group 11–20 years (27.84%) and of pediculosis in the age group 1–10 years (45.85%). Subjects with a primary school education level had higher prevalence rates of scabies and pediculosis (38.50% and 54.15%, respectively). Conclusions: This study showed that ecto-parasite in displaced people in prevalent in this region.