Prevalence of malaria parasitaemia and the use of malaria prevention measures in pregnant women in Ibadan, Nigeria
Background: Malaria complicates up to 58.1% of pregnancies in Nigeria. Preventive measures include intermittent preventive treatment and consistent use of insecticide-treated nets. However, uptake of these interventions can often be sub-optimal.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the prevalence of malaria in pregnancy in peri-urban and rural communities of Ibadan, Nigeria and its association with the use of preventive measures.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, pregnant women were recruited from selected primary health centres and blood films were taken for malaria parasites. Explanatory variables were the use of bed nets and chemoprophylaxis; the primary outcome was presence of peripheral malaria parasitaemia.
Results: Malaria prevalence was 4.3% (67 of 1570 participants); two-thirds of women with parasitaemia had malaria symptoms. Four hundred and thirty-eight (27.9%) used prescribed sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine prophylaxis, 784 (49.9%) women reported that they consistently slept under insecticide-treated nets, and 236 (15%) complied with both interventions. Bed net use appeared more protective than chemoprophylaxis. However, the protection from malaria in those who used preventive measures was not statistically significant (p=0.075).
Conclusions: Malaria prevalence was low. No association was determined between malaria and the use of preventive measures; the lack of association may be due to the low prevalence.
Keywords: Malaria, Pregnancy, Chemoprevention, Insecticide-treated bed
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