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Background: Most women regard any secretion from the vagina as abnormal discharge and the first task for primary health care giver is to confirm whether it is physiological or pathological.
Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence rate of Candida infection among women, attending Abia State teaching hospital, Abayi Aba. A structured questionnaire was administered to obtain demographic data.
Methodology: One hundred high vaginal swab samples were collected from both symptomatic and asymptomatic non-pregnant women between ages 15-45 years old. These specimens were analyzed with standard microbiological techniques. The swabs were inoculated on sabouraud dextrose agar and incubated at 37 degrees centigrade for 48hrs. Wet preparation was examined microscopically for presence of yeast cells. Gram staining was also done. Germ tube test was carried out to confirm Candida albicans species.
Results: Of the 100 specimens analyzed, the overall prevalence of Candida species was 57% (n=57). There were 47 symptomatic participants and 53 asymptomatic participants in the study. Of the 47 symptomatic women, 36 had Candida species while 21 out of 53 asymptomatic women had Candida species. The participants were also grouped according to their socio-economic status and the result revealed that traders were most affected with prevalence rate of 35.1% while the housewives were least affected with prevalence rate of 14.0%.
Conclusion: This study recorded higher prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis among both symptomatic and asymptomatic non-pregnant women in Abia State teaching hospital. Regular checkup and good hygiene practice are critical in order to forestall avoidable complications.