Prevalence of malaria infection in children attending emergency paediatrics unit of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching hospital, Sokoto - Nigeria
Background: Malaria infection in children has been of concern in this part of the world - the sub-Saharan Africa. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of this deadly infection in children attending Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) Sokoto.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and twenty four (124) capillary blood samples were collected from patients attending the Emergency Pediatrics Unit side laboratory. The 'gold standard' method was applied using Giemsa stain to carry out the investigation. Both thick and thin blood films were investigated for malaria parasite concentration and specie identification respectively.
Results: Out of the 124 samples collected, 82 (66.13%) tested positive and 42 (33.87%) were negative for malaria infection. A total of 49 (39.52%) males and 33 (26.61%) females were positive for the infection. Of all the positive samples children within the age range of 0 – 5 years had the highest prevalence of 72 (58.06%) while the other age group of 6 – 10 years had a relatively lower prevalence of 10 (8.07%). However, using Chi-square test of independence, statistical analyses suggest that there is no statistically significant association between the distribution of malaria infection and age or gender.
Conclusion P. falciparum accounted for about (84.15%) of the cases of malaria infection in the study area.
Keywords: Malaria, children, prevalence, UDUTH, Chi-Square.