Amebiasis is a disease caused by the intestinal parasite Entamoeba histolytica, has an estimated worldwide prevalence of 500 million cases of symptomatic disease, and 40.000–110.000 deaths annually (Haque et al. 2007). It is the 3rd most common parasitic cause of death worldwide (Schmidt and Roberts 2000; Stanley 2003). Disease caused by E. histolytica characterized by self-limited diarrhea but can evolve to long-term complications and malnutrition is one of them. The lifecycle of Entamoeba histolytica involves two distinct morphogenetic stages: the amoeboid and proliferative trophozoite and the infectious cyst form. Infections in humans begin with the ingestion of viable cysts in food or water that has been contaminated by feces. It colonizes the intestinal tract, leading mainly to tissue destruction and secretory bloody diarrhoea (Mendoza Cavazos & Knoll 2020).
Entamoeba histolytica (Amoebiasis) occurs worldwide; however, the level of prevalence and presentation of symptoms of infection varies geographically. E. histolytica has been covered worldwide, infecting approximately 50 million people annually, causing close to 100,000 deaths per year (WHO 1997). The infection is more prevalent in the tropics and sub-tropics (area of poor sanitation and nutrition) than in colder climates. Morbidity and mortality are present in Africa, Asia, Central and South America (Petri and Singh 2006).
E. histolytica differs among countries, socio-economical and aseptic conditions, and populations. It is highly pandemic throughout poor and socio-economically deprived communities in the tropics and subtropics. Environmental, socio- economic, demographic, and hygiene-related behavior is known to impact the transmission and distribution of intestinal parasitic infections. Many studies identified that place of residence, age, eating raw vegetables, lack of toilet facility and drinking water quality as important risk factors (file:///C:/Users/welcome/Downloads/entamobia.pdf; Adeyeba and Akinlabi 2002).
As per the UNISEF survey, diarrhea (bloody diarrhea due to amoebiasis infection) is the leading causes of under-five mortality in Ethiopia, accounting for 23 percent, more than 70,000 under age ten children death a year. In Ethiopia, 60 to 80 percent of infectious diseases are due to limited access to potable water, inadequate sanitation and hygiene services. In addition, an estimated 50 percent of the consequences of under nutrition are caused by socioeconomic factors like poor hygiene and lack of access to water supply and sanitation. There are strong relationship between sanitation and stunting, whereas, open defecation can lead to fecal-oral diseases such as diarrhea which is a one of major cause of malnutrition [https://www.unicef.org/ethiopia/water-sanitation-and-hygiene-wash; Beyene et al. 2015). According to survey report of 97 communities of Ethiopia, the overall prevalence of Entameba histolytica infections recorded was 15.0% in schoolchildren (Erko 1995). In Ethiopia, intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) including Entamoeba infections are more prevalent in rural areas due to poverty, illiteracy, poor hygiene, lack of access to potable water and hot and humid tropical climate (Mengistu and Berhanu 2004).
Although several studies have been conducted on the distribution and prevalence of amebiasis in Ethiopia, still several localities including study area there is lack of data regarding amoebiasis-related morbidity and mortality. We analyzed death certificate data from the last ten years to assess the prevalence of amoebiasis-related deaths. A total of 248 amoebiasis-related deaths were identified and decided to conduct a study to assess the prevalence, characteristic nature, and risk factors of E. histolytica infections among the school children.