Malaria parasitemia among asymptomatic infants seen in a malaria endemic region of western Kenya
AbstractBackground: Sustainable Development Goal number three call for complete reversal in the incidence of malaria by 2030. Malaria however remains a health priority in sub-Saharan Africa, with children under five experiencing the highest morbidity and mortality. In clinical settings, management of malaria cases has primarily been centred on case definition, giving minimal consideration to the asymptomatic individuals who remain a major reservoir since they do not seek care. In malaria endemic areas, infants are likely to remain asymptomatic since they have partial immunity acquired from the mother.
Objective: To determine the proportion of infants with positive parasitemia and describe their clinical and demographic characteristics.
Design: A cross-sectional study.
Setting: Webuye District Hospital, Western Kenya.
Subjects: Three hundred and eighty four infants.
Results: Prevalence of malaria parasitemia among enrolled infants was 61%. Infants born to housewife mothers, born to mothers who attended ANC during pregnancy; those weaned late or with family history of sickle cell disease were more likely to
have malaria parasitemia with p-values of 0.031,0.015,0.007, and 0.025 respectively.
Conclusion: Prevalence of malaria parasitemia among asymptomatic infants in Webuye (Western Kenya) remains high.