Taeniasis (Tapeworm) in Afghanistan

: Written by: Muhammad Nasir Sirat

Poor living condition, lack of good health services in some areas and villages, and lack of access to safe drinking water has led some children to be infected with various diseases, especially taeniasis.

Taeniasis is an intestinal tapeworm infection caused by eating contaminated foods or water.

AEPO’s writer/producer has talked to some mothers and a doctor about this disease.

Taeniasis is an infectious disease and its main symptoms are unexplained weight loss, blockage of the intestine, digestive problems and pain in the lower part of the abdomen.


Behishta, a resident of dehsabz district of Kabul province says: “I heard the contaminated water and foods and unwashed vegetables cause taeniasis.my baby was always eating half-baked meat and now he is suffering from taeniasis.”

Muahmmad Yahya, a resident of Kabul city says: “my brother was usually eating unwashed fruits and vegetables and now he is suffering from taeniasis.”

Doctor Ahmad Zia Safi, pediatrician in Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital, Kabul city says: “the main causes of taeniasis are drinking and eating contaminated water and foods; unwashed fruits and vegetables and not washing hands after going to toilet and before eating food and not paying attention to the cleanliness of kitchen and dishes. Half-cooked meat could also be the cause of taeniasis.


A mother, Salima, a resident of Qarabagh district, Kabul province says: “we give peppermint, aniseeds and talkhak (a kind of herbs) to the patient and cook them soft foods and if these items do not affect then we take him/her to the doctor.”

Maryam, a resident of Badakhshan province says: “I do not believe that home remedy would be a good cure for taeniasis. My baby was suffering from taeniasis and I took him to the doctor and now he is recovered.”

Doctor Safi says that home remedy might be useful for a short time but for essential treatment, the patient must be taken to a doctor or a clinic, otherwise the treatment would be complicated and the patient might face crucial problems.