Prevalence of Malaria among Children 1 – 10 Years Old in Communities in Awka North Local Government Area, Anambra State South East Nigeria
AbstractMalaria is a major cause of illness and death especially among children
under 5years old and pregnant women. It is estimated than more that more
then one million children living in Africa especially in remote areas with
poor access to health services die annually from direct and indirect effects of
malaria (Fawale and Onadeko, 2001). Fatally affected children often die
within less than 72h after developing the symptoms. In Nigeria, malaria
consistently ranks among the five most common causes of death in children. As a result of increased mortality and morbidity there is need for proper understanding of the epidemiology of the disease among the most at risk groups. In the study of 1000 children, 1 -10 years old were randomly selected from 20 primary and 31 nursery schools in the four randomly selected communities in Awka North LGA. Two milliliters venous blood was collected from each of the 1000 pupil (600 primary and 400 nursery) and stored in an anticoagulant specimen bottle. Thick and thin films were prepared, stained and examined for malarial parasite under the microscope using the oil immersion objective. Also both 12h human bait collection and pyrethrum knocked down methods were used for identification of types of mosquitoes found in the study communities. Malaria infection is most prevalent among 1- 4 years old, highest being among 3 years old (76.4%), followed by 1 and 4 years old with 71.3 and 71.2% respective, and 62.04% for 2 years old. This decreased as the children get older. There was no significant difference in prevalence among the male and female pupils, with 59. 2 and 57.2%, respectively. The most prominent specie in the community is plasmodium falciparum (51.8%). Forty-three percent of the pupil positive for malaria had low parasitic diversity below 1000, 12.4% between 1000 and 10,000, 2.3% between 10,000 and 100,000 and 0.2% above 100,000. Malaria is a problem among pupil 1-10 years old especially from age 2 yeas when their immunity from mothers start reducing. There is need to ensure that mothers protect their children from mosquito bite by ensuring that they sleep under ITN.
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