ABSTRACT (problem of identity nkrumah consciencism)

The problem of identity in African philosophy Consciencism has been a psychological trauma facing the African mind about her predicament; the problem arose out of Africa’s trio experiences of racial discrimination, slavery and colonialism. These factors gave rise to the crisis of identity in Africa, showing that the African were psychologically invaded and that led to the problem of identity. This research work therefore, exposes the background to the problem using Nkrumah’s Consciencism and exposit that the problem which led to the crisis of identity in Africa is not culture but also social political, economical, religion and most especially philosophical. These left Africans with a schizophrenic identity and make it difficult for the African to understand himself. Analytical method will be applied using Kwame Nkrumah’s consciencism as a case study to reconcile the African traditional heritage with imperialist heritage, but ‘Consciencism’ created more problems than it claims to address by employing strong communist tenets in a bid to reconcile the problem of African Identity.problem of identity nkrumah consciencism




Africans been traumatized, brutalized, and misinterpreted, the above unpalatable condition or appendage of the African world cannot confidently be divorced from her past historical experience. The indelible mark of slavery, colonialism and neo colonialism could to a greater extent be held responsible for such an unfortunate situation. In fact in the words Emeka Ekwurum “Africa and Africans everywhere still live in the deep wounds of centuries of slave trade, colonization, looting and raping of values and cultures by the Western world.”1 Consequently, many African thinkers (such as Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Leopold Senghor, Tom Mboya and Others) spurred by a burning desire to liberate the African mind and make the African personality free in its entirety, came up with striking philosophical propositions. “Their main agitation was to achieve freedom in all sphere of existence for the African people… mental, political, cultural, religious, economic, social, administrative and psychological.”2 Notable among the Nationalist ideological philosopher is Kwame Nkrumah with the thrust of his philosophy being “Philosophical Consciencism”.

Nkrumah’s Consciencism is a theory about transformation “it is how to make Africa’s basic or traditional social heritage to prevail notwithstanding the various cultural currents that have been introduced into Africa from foriegn countries.”3 Philosophical Consciencism is anchored on the monistic thesis of materialism and thus for Nkrumah “the cardinal ethical principle of Philosophical Consciencism is to treat each man as an end in himself and not merely as a means.”4 Nkrumah employed marxism as providing the impetus for building up their nearly independent African countries to be stable and free of all foreign dominations. But how far did he actualize the above task, in view of the nature of this discourse.


African nations at the threshold of independence and after most African nations have been extricated from overt colonial tutelage, Africa’s historical heritage having been characterized by slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism was equally bedevilled by religious and political elements. The problem to fashion a philosophical theory or statement that will counter the negative effects of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism and invariably launched the entire African people to authentic wholeness of their identity. The thought provoking questions arising from Nkrumah’s Consciencism are: on what foundation was the conceptualization of Nkrumah ‘Consciencism’ based? When analysed comparatively with other philosophical frame works for African liberation and holistic emancipation, can it stand the test of time? How tenable and practical is Nkrumah’s Consciencism vis a vis African identity?


The aim of this research work is to critically evaluate Nkrumah’s Consciencism in relation to identity, and the role it purports to play in African crisis of identity. This work is meant to evaluate his assessment of the African historical heritage and synthesize them to an authentic political and philosophical theory that is apt to the African world.


This philosophical discourse is concerned basically with the critical evaluation of Nkrumah’s Consciencism in line with African identity. The book ‘Consciencism’ written by Nkrumah and published in 1964 will be consciously exposed, assessed and recourse to identity crisis will be made in the course of this research.


A research of this magnitude is significant to the extent that it effectively assess a particular human condition and equally proffers solution to it.Since the thrust of consciencism is socio-political, the importance of this research is anchored on the fact that it aims at evaluating the complexities of African socio-political heritage and thereby grant future African thinkers, the enabling foundation to propound a more realistic and practical theory that will lead to authentic African liberation.


This work employs the philosophical tool of analysis in evaluating Nkrumah’s ‘Consciencism’ to realize the set objectives. The study shall derive much of its material from books, journals and internet sources. Finally, the researcher shall draw from the wealth of elders who are the repository of African traditional history. The author as an African researcher will also have his experience to clear on this research having been part of the goings on in Africa. In order to do a thorough work on this research, it will be divided into five chapters. Chapter one is the introduction. Chapter two consists of literature review. Chapter three discusses the exposition of Nkrumah’s consciencism by looking at philosophy and society, society and ideology, materialism as the basis of consciencism, consciencism and egalitarianism, consciencism and colonialism, consciencism and capitalism, consciencism and socialism. Chapter four is Nkrumah’s consciencism and Africanidentity crisis: The contributions of Nkrumah’s consciencism to African liberation, the weakness of consciencism to African liberation, the problem of African identity. Chapter five is evaluation and conclusion.                                     


The essence of setting of bound to the terms we shall come across in this work is for clarity and proper understanding of the concepts.


The word ‘African’ could mean different things, it could refer to people of a particular skin colour and ethnic origin. “Second largest continent, extending from the Mediterranean Sea; bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and by the Indian Ocean and the Red sea; bisected by the Equator.”5 It could refer to those whose political thinking was continent wild, rather than confined to one country. African hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized most of Africa. Most modern states in Africa originate from a process of decolonization in the 20th century. Africa contains 54 Sovereign countries and vast majority of African states are republics that operate under some form of the presidential system of government. However, few of them have been able to sustain democratic governments on a permanent basis, and many have instead cycled through a series of coups, producing military dictatorships. Africans hold some of their inherited cultural traits to be of great value; it is these values which give them a distinct cultural personality and enables them to make some contribution to world knowledge, history and civilization. According to Chukwudum Barnabas Okolo in his essay, what is to be an African? Essay on African Identity, makes further identification of communalism with African essential (problem of identity nkrumah consciencism)

feature, which okolo uses the term “Being-with”6, to characterise the African way of ontological existence. For him, existence for the individual is ‘we-existence’ this is viewed as a defining quality of the self in Africa. For purpose of this research “African” will be limited to people of a particular skin colour and ethnic origin.


Thus, Nkrumah is often charged of “insufficiency and vagueness on the one hand and inconsistency and ambiguity on the other.”7 It will be apt to begin by definition of the term conscience. Etymologically, “Conscience refers to the Greek word, ‘Syneidesis’, and the Latin ‘Conscientia.’ Which means knowledge with, especially with ethical significance.”8According to Chuba Okadigbo, its historical and conceptual development goes as far back as the early writings of Stoics and the corresponding literature of early Greek thinkers. However the Oxford dictionary refers to it as humans having an action is morally required or forbidden.”9 while the Penguim Dictionary of Philosophy defined conscience as “the faculty of judging morally one’s own actions.”10 Democritus was equally acknowledged as “having viewed remorse that men experience after doing some evil and as the cause of joy and hope for people who lead just lives.”11 Chuba Okadigbo noted the position of Christian authors “that conscience is the law of reason implanted in man by God,”12 and drew the following conclusion:problem of identity nkrumah consciencism

Identity Crisis In African Philosophy: A Philosophical Study Of Nkrumah’s Consciencism

Identity Crisis In African Philosophy: A Philosophical Study Of Nkrumah’s Consciencism



  1.  Background to the Study

Philosophy generally reflects the socio-political situation of its time and place. Socio-political situations generally raise many questions in the minds of people and thus give rise to reflection and philosophizing. Hence, there is always a close connection between the socio-political situation of a place at a given time and the philosophy of that place at that particular period. Contemporary African philosophy is predominantly a political philosophy and this reflects the socio-political situation from which it arose. The socio-political situation of contemporary Africa raised questions in the minds of African thinkers and prompted them to focus their thoughts on political issues.

Since the middle of 20th century, African scholars have been battling with rediscovery of African identity after the devastating effect of European slavery and colonization. Most of the scholars argue that European slavery and colonialism devastated African psyche, rubbished her culture and values, and left her empty of any coherent world view of reality. The travails and backwardness of Africa in social, economic, and political development have been blamed on European colonialism and neo-colonialism. Fifty-five years after most African nations have become politically independent; many African scholars still blame the Western world for the backwardness of the continent. The situation is worrisome when we consider that other continents that were colonized like Africa are picking their pieces and advancing their development.

The question that agitates the mind here is; why is it that Africa cannot rise above her experience of European invasion and actualize herself? Man is always confronted with challenges and what distinguishes a people is how they are able to manage and overcome their challenges. It is the opinion of this essay that part of the problems of African underdevelopment is the Africa psychological complacency necessitated by abundant resources and environmental friendliness that sustains life at minimal stress. The search for African identity should not just focus on the past culture and achievements of the continent but also on the contemporary prowess of the continent that can propel her to overcome this psychological complacency and work towards greater heights in achievements that will attract the attention of the world. It is of age that Africans should stop lamenting the evils of European invasion and continual manipulation of the continent and confront the challenges the contemporary world order has in stock for her. The continent cannot develop on the terms of sympathy from other continents but on the strength of authentic and realistic confrontation of her challenges with the intention of overcoming them by herself and defining her existence in the world affairs.

During the 19th century, the scramble for territories by European powers took a new turn as they began to make significant advances to tropical Africa. By 1913, European powers had divided the African continent into miserable groups that showed little or no regard for ethnic and linguistic boundaries. This opened the African version of colonialism. The human and natural resources of Africa were exploited, independent African communities lost their political liberty, and Africa suffered a crisis of self-confidence, creating a lasting sense of inferiority and subjugation that builds a barrier to growth and innovation. In the face of these exploitative and ideological devaluation of the black race, emerged an interesting package to the development of African political ideology.

Many Africans began the search for an ideological project of self-affirmation and assertive cultural nationalism. Among these were Nnamdi Azikiwe, the pilot of Nigerian independence, Leopold Senghor, appraised as an apostle of negritude, Kwame Nkrumah, a radical nationalist and a proponent of Pan-Africanism, Obafemi Awolowo, a socialist oriented nationalist, Julius Nyerere, the father of Ujamaa Socialism, Edward Wilmot Blyden and his African Personality, Kenneth Kaunda and his African Humanism, Frantz Fanon and his Violent resistance, Tom Mboya and his African socialism and the challenge to nationhood. The focus of this thesis is to highlight and analyze Kwame Nkrumah’s political ideology in his work Consciencism, how it addresses the problems of African independence and the global solution to Africa’s problems through a unified effort in Pan-Africanism using his work titled Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization, published in 1964 and re-published in 1979.

  1. 1.2      Statement of the Problem

The Euro-colonial attack on the African continent was the main event that separated the African from his traditional past. Not only did colonialism put a stop to gradual African cultural growth, there was also the tendency of the colonial agents to wipe out the past, especially with regards to language, and religion on economic and political grounds. In some cases, the colonial agents transferred what was too valuable to be destroyed to the safety of the colonizing lands. Thus, the African, in addition to losing his political independence, also lost his myths, folktales, legends, language, culture and religion to foreign ones.

Hence, by the beginning of the 20th century A.D, the face of Africa had undergone a noticeable change. The change was brought about by years of trans-Atlantic slave trade, the transportation of human cargo to the Americas and to Europe and series of wars of colonial subjugation, which destroyed the African will and effective cultural presence and enthroned new political and religious creeds that will gradually try to replace the old. The African has in effect become divided in an unusual and negative way. She has become one who has to pay a double allegiance to at least two masters at the same time. She cannot eradicate her African past, and she cannot just view the colonial presence without concern. This brought about a confused identity among the Africans both within and in diaspora.

What is the relationship between reality and colonialism? What are the springs of colonialism? Is it a good or is it a necessary evil? Is colonialism a universal human problem? How must philosophy come to terms with the African traditional heritage and the colonial heritage? What new personality ought to emerge as a product of the various cultural heritage of the African?  This shows that with the ailment of the mind, the body is affected. When the inner self is disillusioned then the outer self is nothing but disorder and confusion. And this is the case with Africa. Since her contact with the Europeans, Africa has been psychologically traumatized in every way. And the effect has manifested physically and also mentally. This is a clear indication of what Nkrumah’s Consciencism portrays. It is in attacking this question that one will notice that the identity crisis has been a deep rooted syndrome on the African mind. Nkrumah’s Consciencism is a theory about transforming independent Africa. The main problem about this transformation of independent African countries is how to make Africa’s basic or traditional social heritage to prevail notwithstanding the various cultural currents that have been introduced into Africa from foreign countries. Hence, the thrust of Consciencism is socio-political. The question of which we are concerned in this essay is this: How can African societies use their identity to develop? Can it construct progress without a vision of its past, or can it link its future development with its historical tradition? Such a question requires the adoption of certain ideologies that are grounded on the culture of the people.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

It has been an undertaking of philosophy to give meaning to human existence. Since it is philosophical mission to give meaning to human existence, it is my estimation that it is appropriate to look into the issue of crisis of identity and ideology in Nkrumah’s Consciencism. It is appropriate to note that the acknowledgment of African identity is necessary because of its vast contact and involvement with Europe. However, it is my view to look at why there is crisis of identity in African philosophy and culture analyzing Nkrumah’s Consciencism. Kwame Nkrumah’s mission in the world was to dismantle colonialism in Africa and restore the lost  African identity. His vision was the restoration of the dignity that was lost as a result of slavery and colonialism to enable the African to function freely in the coming unified world society as an equal player and partner. Kwame Nkrumah was keenly aware that the problem of humanity would not be fully addressed if the problem of Africa was not addressed, and he made it his mission to do that. In this crusade, Kwame Nkrumah was not alone, for others also recognized the urgent need to address the problem of Africa. However, it is my view to look at why there is crisis of identity in African philosophy analyzing Nkrumah’s Consciencism, and to prove that African of today is and should be a hybrid and thus does not advocate for a return to a pristine existence.

1.4 Scope of the Study

It is pertinent to note that the crunch of identity is common basic issue in contemporary African society. It ranges from the disappearance of authentic African cultural heritage, to the rational disparagement of Africa, then to the physical dehumanization of Africa and finally to the psychologically devastated Africa. It is this psychologically distressed Africa that is our concern in this thesis. This work exposes the causes of this crisis, the effect and its victim as the contemporary African society. Since our concern in this thesis is the analysis of Nkrumah’s ideology and the crisis of identity in Africa, it is my view to examine Nkrumah’s Consciencism to showcase the inherent crisis in his theory. Again to prove what necessitated his work and the influence of Marxism on him. With this in mind, our thesis should base on exposing Nkrumah’s philosophy of Consciencism and his effort to lay a foundation for decolonization of Africa. Then to give a clue of what one is to consider in identifying the African personality. The range of this work shall be library research and internet resources.

1.5 Significance of the Study

When one places Nkrumah’s Consciencism in the context of unforeseen circumstances in present-day African society, one easily identifies the root cause of identity crisis in Africa. And this is why Nkrumah maintains that it is only through revolution that Africa can be totally free to mind its own destiny and regain its lost culture and life. Thus, Kwame Nkrumah’s Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization, was geared towards decolonization of Africa in order that there will be a harmony that will aid Africans and its influences from abroad. This adds confidently to our field of study because, it will help to explore, expose, analyze, criticize, and redefine the ideologies and the identity crisis intrinsic in Nkrumah’s work and accepts its valuable needs for the mastery of her own identity. What Africa needs is a good knowledge of taking cognizance of its past and the present in order to foresee how the future will be like? This shows why African philosophers should be able to provide the better steps towards achieving this goal. This is because it will help to provide the historically depreciated; politically instability, economically bastardized, culturally alienated, and psychologically traumatized Africa, a sense of dignity in achieving its own uniqueness and personality.

The problem of identity crisis in Africa is most significant in modern African philosophy because African philosophers have occupied themselves with the question of crisis of identity in Africa. And thus, they are concerned about the best possible ways to salvage the African personality in details. Therefore, this research is so important because Nkrumah’s Consciencism was geared towards rescuing the disparaged image of the African in order for them to have total liberation of themselves by realizing their root and the implications of the confused personality that have over taken the African continent.

Therefore, this work is significant because it enables us to know the right edge of mind to follow in order for us to be able to identify our personality proper.It is only then can Africa be said to be free and free indeed. African communalism and socialism contain within their framework the positive principles that will contribute to the free growth of the individuals in the contemporary African society, so there is need to evolve a modern African society that can afford a better opportunity for the proper realization of the dignity and self-identity of the individual as well as the communal and social integrity and development of the contemporary African society.

1.6 Methodology

The methodology to be employed in this thesis is analysis method, using Nkrumah’s Consciencism to showcase this very fact. This thesis is divided into Five Chapters.

Chapter One focuses on the general introduction, background of the study, statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, methodology and then the definition of terms.

Chapter Two delves into examining some literatures that talked about African personality. And also to consider some philosophers’ notion that talked about Nkrumah’s Consciencism.

Chapter Three concerns itself more on the possible causes of the crisis of identity in Africa and then the effect of the crisis in Africa in recent times. It also seeks to examine African philosophy in its quest for identity.

Then, Chapter Four centres on the analysis of Nkrumah’s Consciencism and his struggle for African Liberation.Here, we centre on the possible reasons for his writing Consciencism and the influence and role Marxism played on Nkrumah and in independence of African nation states respectively. It also incorporates exposition of the crisis implicit in his Consciencism, and his inability to wriggle himself out of the crisis.

Lastly, Chapter Five will be on the evaluation of the whole work and then conclusion.

In sum, I hope a rundown of the thesis will certainly expose the crisis we have in recognizing our identity; and be able to formulate a better identity that will help revitalise Africa in their design for contemporary African philosophy.

1.7 Definition of Terms

For our present enterprise to be intelligible and meaningful there is need for proper understanding of some major terms involved. Such words shall be briefly defined according to the context of which they shall be used in this thesis. They include: African, communalism, socialism, Marxism, Egalitarianism, identity crisis and colonialism.


The word communalism was derived from the Latin word communis which means common. Communalism could be used interchangeably with communitarianism in this work. Communalism is the socio-political theory that upholds the priority of the community over the individual.1Communalistic principle underlies African philosophical endeavors as well as African people’s practical orientations to social, moral and political values generally. One could say that in traditional African society, man never does anything, receives anything, or suffers anything alone. It is a popular belief held in a nearly “un-animistic” way, that is, that Africans do not think of themselves as “discrete individuals”, but rather understand themselves as part of a “community”. This is sometimes referred to as African communalism.2 African communalism refers to the mode of life of the traditional Africans which entails collective and co-operative life.


It is a philosophical thought system that emphasizes equality and equal treatment across gender, religion, economic status and political beliefs. It holds the belief that everyone is equal and should have the same rights and opportunities. One of the major tenets of egalitarianism is that all people are fundamentally equal. Egalitarianism can be examined from a social perspective that looks at ways to reduce economic inequalities or from a political perspective that looks at ways to ensure the equal treatment and rights of diverse groups of people. Egalitarianism may focus on income inequality and distribution and, as a philosophy, has influenced the development of various economic and political systems. Karl Marx looked to egalitarianism as a starting point in the creation of his Marxist philosophy, and John Locke considered egalitarianism when he proposed that individuals had natural rights. Kwame Nkrumah also modified this to suite his ideology.3

Identity Crisis

Identity can be defined as a fairly stable sense of who you are and what people know you to be. It goes beyond sex or gender. It has to do with the following questions; who am I? If I am unique in the world, what establishes my uniqueness? Am I a man or a woman? What is the purpose of my being in the world? and others too numerous to mention. The ability to answer the above questions means that one to a certain extent has known oneself. According to psychologists, there are two things that help us to understand one’s identity; crisis and commitment. Crisis is a state of being confused about one’s life while commitment has to do with making a stable choice in life. According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, identity is the characteristics, feelings or beliefs that distinguish people from others, a sense of national, cultural, personal, group identities, to show or prove who or what somebody/something is.4 It is designating who or what somebody is. Identity in this thesis signifies this but it is synonymous with Africans recognizing not only the things that identify them as Africans alone but also taking cognizance of her experience in history. This is what portrays the true identity of the African. While crisis in this thesis implies the psychological trauma that is troubling the African mind in the identification of herself. Thus, crisis here is caused by the existence of African tradition with other cultures of the world. There is therefore the dilemma of following one and leaving the other. The search for identity in Africa presupposes that the African has identity crisis.


According to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, colonialism is defined as the practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another.5 It is the act of ruling nations not with their consent as colonies. This is usually done for the economic benefit of the colonialist. Colonialism is synonymous with exploitation. This is because colonialism is never geared towards making the colonized better but for the benefit of the colonizer. In this work, we are strictly dealing with the European colonization of Africans. The imposition of foreign culture on the African continent that brought about Africans being a single continent with confused identity.


Consciencism is a philosophy based on a set of philosophical statements penned by Kwame Nkrumah (1909–1972). According to Nkrumah, Africans everywhere share historical bonds, cultural bonds, and common aspirations for unity, but colonialism and enslavement interrupted the expression of this shared heritage and generated a cultural confusion rectifiable only by the ethical imposition of conscience. Nkrumah therefore presented Consciencism as a way of beginning to resolve what he saw as the crisis of the African conscience. The statements that detail the philosophy were intended as a theoretical basis for an ideology that synthesizes the African experience. The elements of this synthesis are; (1) traditional African society, which is understood as the base of the African experience and is used to filter other experiences through; (2) Islam’s effect on the worldwide African community; and (3) the Euro-Christian impact on that community.  Consciencism is the philosophy and ideology of Kwame Nkrumah and of the party he founded Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP).  It is the philosophy and ideology of decolonization with particular reference to the African Revolution. It can be seen as the Pan African philosophy heritage.

The Distorted Images Of African Continent: A Heideggerian Interpretation

The Distorted Images Of African Continent: A Heideggerian Interpretation



The vastness and diversity of Africa has made it difficult to determine whom we do refer when we talk of “the distorted images of African continent”. This is not unconnected with the fact that there are some African countries like Egypt, which because of their complexion a times are erased off from the Traitor’s book. Nevertheless, according to Joseph Harris in his book “Africans and their history”: Continue reading The Distorted Images Of African Continent: A Heideggerian Interpretation

The Nigeria Police And Mockery Of Common Good

The Nigeria Police And Mockery Of Common Good



Mind cast on some capitalist societies shows that sometimes, pursuit of personal interest overrides and militates against the realization of common good. Ipso police facto, Nigerian society has not been an exception to this. Yet, the fact still remains that it is in working together for the common good or welfare that one Continue reading The Nigeria Police And Mockery Of Common Good

Incidence Of Ascaris Lumbricoides In Stool Among Children

The Incidence Of Ascaris Lumbricoides In Stool Among Children Between The Ages Of 5 And 10 Years In Obeleagu Umana Village In Enugu State.

The incidence of Ascaris lumbricoides in stools among children in Obeleagu Umana community between the ages of 5 and 10 years in Enugu state Viz: Umuonyi,  Umuanekeuba and Umudim was analysed by the direct smear and concentration methods of faecal examination. The aim of this work is to determine the incidence of Ascaris lubricoides in stool among children in Obeleagu Umana community between the ages of 5 and 10 years in Enugu State.  15 stool samples were collected and examined, and it was observed that the infestation was highest in stools collected from Umuonyi, followed by Umuanekeuba, and lastly by Umudim, Also the Ascaris infection was found to be more among children within the age limit of 5 – 7 years, whereas there was a reduction within the age limit of 8 – 10 years. The high Ascaris infection in Enugu metropolis among children was due to poor hygiene and poor sanitary conditions.




It is important to know the different distribution of helminintes (worms) infection based on the study of ecological, geographical and epidemiological condition.

Ascarasis is among the most common infections occurring through out the whole world. This infections has been associated with low standard of sanitation i.e poor sanitation (Cheesbrough, 1998). Ascaris lumbricoides (Large intestinal round worm) has a world wide distribution. It is particularly common in the tropics and subtropics in places where environmental sanitation is inadequate and untreaed human faeces are used as fertilizer (night – soil). In 1995, WHO (World Health Organization) estimated that there were 250 million persons infected with A. lumbricoides died from ascariasis. Again in 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there were 1,450 million persons infected with Ascaris lumbricoides and annually, 60,000  dying from ascariasis. Ascariasis was probably the first of all parasitism to the recognized by man. The parasite is large and very common. The Greek called it by the name it has today, that is “intestinal worm”, uneducated people in North America less than a century ago knew Ascaris and referred to them as pale worms, often seen in children faeces as “guardian angels”. A researcher has shown that the helminth has a world wide distribution throughout the topics and the alarming statistical fact that world infection rate was 107%, Ogumba, E.O. (2004) investigating children in Ibadan found the incidence of Ascaris, Hookworm, Trichuris to range from 40%  to 110% at the end of dry season. There are an estimated 4 million people infected in the USA, with the disease being highest among children and there are about 2 cases of  intestinal obstruction caused by ascariasis, 3% of the cases of obstruction die (Werner, D. et al, 1993). The larver of Ascaris  lumbricoides causes pneumonia, while in lungs symptomatology, a condition related to worm density, when present in small numbers in the intestine, they produce no apparent disturbance. But at higher density, obstruction and pari possible followed by gut perforation. The worms may migrate into unusual place like the bile, liver and stomach which may result to death of the host.


Ascaris has created problems in tropical African countries, children suffer great threat resulting from ascarisis. It causes problems such as diarrhea, anaemia, loss of weight, weakness, intestinal obstruction in children, vomiting, abdominal pain, impairment of protein digestion and absorption etc and some pathological effects that could lead to death.

1.3       AIM OF THE STUDY

The aim of this project is to determine the incidence of Ascaris lumbricoides in stools among children between the ages of 5 – 10 years in Obeleagu Umana Community in Enugu State.

  1. To determine the rate of occurance of ascariasis in children.
  2. To isolate the different species of Ascaris in children.


The study of ascariasis intestinal helminthiasis has brought about the best strategies in preventing the wide spread of intestinal parasitic worm. Ascaris lumbricoides) in children especially in tropical/rural areas and also the control measures including the available drugs and role of sanitation.


This project work on “incidence of Ascaris lumbricoides in stool among children between the ages of 5 and 10 years in Obeleagu Umuana village in Enugu State “was limited only to three (3) villages in Obeleagu Umana due to time and financial factors.



Ascaris  lumbricoides was probably first mentioned by Ransay (1934), after working in twelve localities in Northern Nigria and the incidence was 6.1%. According to chandler and Read (1954), Ascaris  lumbricoides is a large nematodes parasite that inihibits the human small intestine where it feeds on digested foods. It is one of the most common nematodes infections of mankinds, involving about two-thrid (2/3) of the world’s population. Ascaris lumbricoides does not attack the tissue but may occur in such large numbers that it blocks the gut. The adult worms commonly bites the mucous membrances with its lips suck blood and tissue juices. Ascaris is a thread-like animal almost devoid of external natures. The body is covered by a lubicle and there are no cilia. The gut has two opening, the mouth and anus which make its feeding, digestion and absorption more efficient. It can reach a length of 30cm for male while female worms range in size from 20-25cm in length and 2.6mm in diameter.

Ascaris lumbricoides belong to the class-

Nematoda, family – Ascarididal, phylum. Nemathelminthes (Adetokunbo and Herbert, 2003; brooks etal, 2007). The female worm is yrolific, laying up to 200,000 eggs a day. the typical egg has a yellowish – brown mamillated appearance.


Ascaris  lumbricoides is a thread-like animal almost devoid of external yeatures. The body is covered by a lubicle and there are no cilia. The gut has two openings, the mouth and anus. Because of its double opening, feeding, digestion and absorption is more efficient.  Longitudinal muscles beneath the ectoderm enable movement of the body. The absence of circular muscles, however, permits only a back and forth thrashing motion. The excretory system consist of canals which open to out side by an excretory pore.

Fig 1: Gravid female of  A. Lumbricoides

  1. Oesophagus. 2. Intestine                     3. Ovary
  2. Vulva 5. Oviduct        6.  Uterus.

Figure 2: Mature male of A.  lumbricoides

  1. Oesophagus 2. Intestine       3. Testis           4. Seminal vesicle

(source: Davey, T.H. et al, 1973).


The structural and life forms of helmininthes are generally complex and their life cycle changes from simple production of larvae (Juvenile stage) to complex alternative of generation involving as many as two to three direct hosts. There are many life cycle mode within the parasitic helminites. Some use direct life mode while others use indirect life mode/cycle. Direct life cycle involves only single host species used by many nematodes and cestoda. In indirect cycle, the parasite are those in which more than one host is used to complete the life cycle, example as in tremaatodes (flukes), utilizing snails as the intermediate host (Muoneke, 2003).

For the life cycle of Ascaris  lumbriciodes the unembryonated eggs are passed in faeces and take some days to devlop into the infection egg. The infective egg is swallowed in water or form contaminated food and then is hatched in the small intestine and penetrate it derive its food. Transmission of A. lumbriciodes is spread by faeces pollution of the environment. A person become infected by ingesting infective eggs in contaminated food or from hands that have become faecally contaminated. The mature worms live free in the intestine. Fertilized female worms produce many eggs per day. the eggs can remain viable in soil and dust for several years. These factors contribute to the wide spread and often heavy Ascaris infections which can be found especially among children of 3 – 8 years whose fingers become contaminated while playing on open ground. The worms can live 1-2 years in their host. The direct life cycle of A. lumbricoides is summarized belo


1.     Infective eggs

ingested in food or from contaminated hands




pathogenesis describes the origin of damages caused by parasitc and how these damages originated through the activates of the parasite.

Ascaris Pathology: The parasite causes a lot harm and in conveniences due to its warrdering nature in the body. It caused intestinal abotraction, which is a serious complication of ascariasis.

Ascariasis interferes with protein digestion in children and combination with hookworm infection. Ascaris lumbricoides, they are carried to the lings and excape into the air spaces. As the larva break out the lungs capillaries, they cause hecmorrhage and the accompanying accumulation of pools of blood, dead tissue etc. Lead to congestion ascaris infection interferes with normal metabolism and nutrition (Cowper, 1960).

The primary source of worm infestation is the food or water contaminated with infected faces. When these parasites are passed out through the anus, Some of them find their way to food used by man  get it contaminated their way to food used by man and get it contaminated examples are ascaris egg on vegetable like: Cabbage and other  vegetables eaten raw or poorly washed. Another sources of ascaris infection is the soil, that it the soil bore infective stage,, here the eggs of this worm hatch in the soil and larvia find its way into the host by active boring into the skin i.e the worm is geohelminth.


In the whole range of the diseases of man, it is in the field of intestinal parasites that obedience to the rule of cleanliness and the laws of sanitation proves most effective in preventing diseases. Prevention is the duty of everyone and prevention can only follow an understanding of the basic scientific principle or method underlying the cause and spread of disease in non and animal (Harod and Hubert, 1997).

Effort have been made for the establishment of public health department and general health service, installation of good toilets, administration which serve to influence individual and community attitudes favorable on matter of sanitations, nutrition and other aspects of disease prevention.  Based on these, the WHO has mapped a number of control options. They are subdivided into two (2) categories:

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL: Which includes improved sanitation, unifected water and food supply, ensuring that foods are free of parasite eggs and larval (Lucas and Gilles, 2003).
  2. mass Treatment: This involves the use of mass chemotherapeutic agents (drugs) to treat  the whole family with suitable worm expeller periodically. The mass treatment of children should be done using a single dose of one of the broad – spectrum antihelminthics. Some of the suggested drugs for the treatment of ascariasis include:
  3. Albendszole
  4. Mebendazole

iii.        Pyrantel

Stool samples were collected form children and  three different village in obeleagu umana. The villages were Umuoyi, Umuanekeuba and Umudim.

The Incidence Of Ascaris Lumbricoides In Stool Among Children Between The Ages Of 5 And 10 Years In Obeleagu Umana Village In Enugu State.

Incidence Of Ascaris Lumbricoides In Stool Among Children

The Incidence Of Ascaris Lumbricoides In Stool Among Children Between The Ages Of 5 And 10 Years In Obeleagu Umana Village In Enugu State.

The incidence of Ascaris lumbricoides in stools among children in Obeleagu Umana community between the ages of 5 and 10 years in Enugu state Viz: Umuonyi,  Umuanekeuba and Umudim was analysed by the direct smear and concentration methods of faecal examination. The aim of this work is to Continue reading Incidence Of Ascaris Lumbricoides In Stool Among Children