Malaria Comorbidities in Patients Seen at the Children Emergency Room, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria
Introduction: In Nigeria, malaria is reported as one of the commonest causes of childhood morbidity, mortality as well as the highest cause of paediatric admissions. Sometimes, these patients do not present with malaria alone but with other comorbidities.
Objective: To document morbidities coexisting with malaria in children and how these affect patients’ outcome.
Methods: This prospective and cross-sectional study was conducted at the Children Emergency Room of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City between November 2009 and October 2010. It involved 89 under-five children with both clinical and laboratory diagnosis of malaria who had other comorbidities.
Results: Eighty-nine children were recruited. Fifty (56.2%) were males while 39 (43.8%) were females giving a M: F ratio of 1.3: 1. The patients’ ages ranged from four months to 59 months with the mean age being 26.6 ± 1.8 months. Based on Wellcome classification, three (3.4%) children were marasmic, 18 (20.2%) were underweight while 68 (76.4%) were well-nourished. The common malaria comorbidities identified were gastroenteritis (46.1%), Acute Respiratory Infections (29.2%) and meningitis (16.8%). Amongst these, 85 (97.2%) were discharged, two (1.4%) died while two (1.4%) discharged themselves against medical advice. The two patients that died had meningitis as comorbidity. One of them was marasmic.
Conclusion: Malaria may occur with various comorbidities. The commonest malaria co-morbidity in this study was gastroenteritis. Malaria with meningitis as a comorbidity may be fatal.
Keywords: Malaria, Comorbidity, Children, Benin City