Relationship between Malaria Parasitaemia and Packed Cell volume among Primary School pupils in Ekpoma
Malaria parasitic infection is a disease causing high morbidity and mortality in most tropical parts of the world, where climatic conditions and sanitation practices favour their prevalence. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of malaria parasitaemia and its influence on pack cell volume among Primary School Pupils. The study was conducted in Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria and involves two hundred primary school children between the ages of 7 and 14 years. Blood was collected by finger prick to determine the presence of malaria parasitaemia using thick and thin film methods while packed cell volume (PCV) was determine by haematocrit method. The prevalence of Plasmodium infection was found to be 20.5% with only two species of Plasmodium detected Plasmodium falciparum (20%) and Plasmodium malariae (1%). The haematocrit of malaria infected pupils (33.3±3.55) was significantly different (p<0.05) from those of non malaria infected subjects (35.9±3.28). Our study revealed that malaria is still a major public health problem and may be a contributory factor to morbidity, mortality, school absenteeism and poor academic performance of pupils in the study area.
Keywords: Pack cell volume; Primary School Pupils; Plasmodium falciparum; Plasmodium malariae.
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