In the previous study session, you learned about the most common faeco-oral diseases caused by bacteria or viruses. In this study session, we will describe the main intestinal parasitoses (pronounced ‘para-sit-oh-seez’), i.e. diseases caused by parasites living in the intestines. You will learn about the intestinal protozoa (single-celled organisms) causing amoebiasis and giardiasis, and the intestinal helminths known as ascaris worms and hookworms. There are other, much larger, intestinal parasites in addition to those described here, such as the tapeworms, which you will learn about in Study Session 38.
It is important for you to know about these diseases so that you can treat or refer cases and apply prevention and control measures in your community. The prevention and control measures for these conditions are the same as you have already learned in earlier study sessions in relation to other faeco-oral diseases. However, you will notice that there are significant differences in the symptoms and treatment of the parasitic diseases described here.