Malaria infection and socioeconomic status of some residents of Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria
The study investigated the prevalence of malaria and socioeconomic status of subjects in part of Port Harcourt metropolis. Following ethical clearance which was obtained from the University of Port Harcourt and the parents of the subjects who gave their written consents, blood samples were collected and analysed following standard parasitological method from 200 subjects within the age bracket of 0-17years. The demographic characteristics of 200 subjects showed that more males, 105 (52.5%), were examined compared with females, 94 (47.5%). The socioeconomic status of subjects were grouped into higher class with 144 (72.0%), middle class with 22 (11.0%) and lower class with 34 (17.0%). Overall prevalence of 71 (35.5%) was recorded. Sex related prevalence showed that more males were infected with 42 (40.0%) and parasite density of 91120 μl than females with 29 (30.5%) and parasite density of 62480 μl. The differences in prevalence between males and females was not significant (P>0.05).The prevalence of malaria infections based on socioeconomic status showed that greater percentage of infection of 55 (38.2%) was recorded among the higher class with parasite density of 112880 μl followed by infection of 12 (35.3%) and parasite density of 29120 μl in the lower class with the least percentage of 4 (18.2%) and parasite density of 11600 μl recorded in the middle class. There was no significant difference (P>0.05) in infection rate on the basis of socioeconomic status. In Conclusion, malaria infection does not respect individual’s socioeconomic status. There is need to sustain the current intervention measures and awareness campaign among Port Harcourt residents for prevalence rate to be reduced to the desired zero level.
Keywords: Malaria infection, prevalence, Parasite intensity, Socio-economic status,