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Prevalence and Case-Control Study of Cerebral Malaria in Limbe of the South-West Cameroon

Lois E Ikome
Kenneth JN Ndamukong
Helen Kimbi


A study was carried out in Limbe and its environs to determine the prevalence of cerebral malaria vis-à-vis uncomplicated malaria, and to assess the importance of parasitaemia level, packed cell volume and hypoglucaemia as predictors of cerebral malaria. Data were obtained using a questionnaire administered to 650 people aged between 6 months and 70 years, and by a case-control study on 90 people (30 cases and 60 controls) aged between 6 months and fifteen years. The results of the questionnaire study revealed uncomplicated malaria prevalence rate of 50.9% as against 7.1% for cerebral malaria. The highest prevalence of these infections occurred in the 0-5 years age group, dropping in people aged 16 years and above. The case-control study revealed high parasitaemia (100,000 – 500,000 parsites/mm3 of blood) in uncomplicated malaria patients and hyperparasitaemia (>500,000 parasites/mm3 of blood) in cerebral malaria patients. Patients with uncomplicated malaria had either normal haemoglobin (PCV<18%). Hypoglycaemia (>40mg glucose/dl) was recorded in 12.9% of cerebral malaria patients, but in none of the patients with uncomplicated malaria.
[Afr. J.Health Sci. 2002; 9: 61-67]