Relationships between blood cell counts and the density of malaria parasites among patients at the regional hospital, Limbe, Cameroon.
Malaria is one of the most important infectious disease in Cameroon and throughout the world . Globally it results in an estimated 400 millions cases and about 3 millions deaths each year, most of these deaths in children aged 1 to 5 in Sub-Saharan Africa, making it the biggest single infections killer of children in the world . It is a major public health problem in Cameroon, with its prevalence and incidence appearing to be on the increase owing to the lack of adequate control measures . This study was designed to determine the correlation between blood cell counts and the density of malaria parasitemia amongst patients who presented for consultation at the Regional Hospital Limbe (RHL). A total of 100 consecutive patients suffering from malaria who consented to participating in this study were recruited and venous blood (3-5ml) was collected by venepuncture. Thick and thin blood films were prepared, stained and microscopically examined for the presence of malaria parasites. Total blood cells and differential white cell counts were performed using a coulter counter. The findings depicted a negative correlation between parasite load and haemoglobin concentration [Hb], mean cell volume (MCV), and mean cell haemoglobin (MCH); a positive correlation of parasite density with white blood cell counts (WBC), red blood cell counts (RBC), and the differential white blood cell counts (lymphocyte, monocyte, and granulocytes); and no correlation was observed with the platelet counts.