Endemicity Of Malaria Among Primary School Children In Ebonyi State, Nigeria
A study was undertaken to determine the prevalence o malaria among primary schoolchildren in Ebonyi State. The degree of malaria parasite, infection and species of the parasite isolated were used to determine the level of endemicity of the disease. Out of one thousand and two hundred (1,200) primary schoo children aged between 5 –16 years sampled, the prevalence rate of 40.08 % was recorded. The species of the parasite associated with the disease was Plasmodium falciparum. It was observed that the rate of malaria parasitaemia was higher in younger (aged 5-10 years) than those of older (aged 11-16 years) children. A X2-test conducted on the infection rate according to ages of the pupils showed significant difference between the age groups indicating that infection was age dependent (P < O.O5) . Greater number of males (243) than females (238) were infected but the infection rate according to sex was found not to be significant and therefore not sex dependent (P > 0.05). Among the Local Government Areas, Ivo had the highest prevalence rate. This was followed by Ishielu and Abakaliki local government areas of Ebonyi State. The results showed that malaria is endemic in the state and a major health problem for school children. The possible effect on academic performancewas discussed.
Keywords: Malaria, Prevalence, Children, Endemicity, Parasitaemia, Ebonyi State
Animal Research International Vol. 1 (3) 2004 pp. 155-159