Malaria and intestinal parasites in pregnant and non-pregnant women: a comparative study at the University Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
In sub-Sahara African countries, both malaria and intestinal helminth infections are endemic and co-infection commonly occurs. It is estimated that over a third of the world’s population, mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics are infected with parasitic helminths and Plasmodium species thus often leading to co-infections. This cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the prevalence of malaria and intestinal parasites in a sample of 760 study participants comprising 380 pregnant women and 380 non-pregnant women attending the University Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Blood and stool samples were analyzed for malaria and intestinal parasites using Giemsa staining technique and direct wet mount method respectively. The overall prevalence of malaria infection, intestinal parasite infection and malaria-intestinal parasite co-infection was 73 (9.6%), 43 (5.6%) and 10 (1.3%) respectively. Malaria infection was higher in pregnant women (12.6%) compared to non-pregnant women (6.6%). Non-pregnant women recorded higher intestinal helminth infection (10%) than pregnant women (1.3%). No case of co-infection was recorded among the pregnant women. The study suggests a higher susceptibility to malaria infection when compared to their non-pregnant counterpart with an association between malaria parasite and intestinal helminths in non-pregnant women.
Journal of Medical and Biomedical Sciences (2015) 4(3), 31-35
Keywords: Ante-natal, infection, personal hygiene, maternal screening, hospital