Prevalence of placenta Plasmodium parasitemia and pregnancy outcome in asymptomatic patients at delivery in a University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria
Background: Malaria is an important public health issue in pregnancy association with poor fetal and maternal outcome, especially in malaria endemic area like Nigeria.
Objective: The objective was to determine the prevalence of placental malaria in asymptomatic women in labor and to compare the fetal and maternal outcome between affected and unaffected women.
Subjects and Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study of 210 women who delivered at a tertiary health facility in Nigeria. Participantsf peripheral venous blood, cord blood, and placental blood samples were examined microscopically for the presence of malaria parasite. Data collected were analyzed using SPSS version 16.
Results: Prevalence of placental malaria was 65.2%. Nulliparity was significantly associated with placental malaria (X2 = 21.32, P = 0.0000039, odds ratio [OR] =5.6). Poor compliance to intermittent preventive therapy was significantly associated with placental malaria (X2 = 16.67, P = 0.00004). The mean gestational age at delivery was 38.57 « 1.7 weeks and 12.85% of women had preterm delivery. Sixty.seven (31.9%) women had anemia and malaria parasitemia was significantly associated with anemia (X2 = 8.34, P = 0.0039, OR = 2.6). Fourteen (6.67%) babies had low birth weight, but placental malaria was not significantly associated with low birth weight (X2 = 0.03, P = 0.87).
Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of placental malaria in the study population. Nulliparity, poor drug compliance, and maternal anemia were associated with placental malaria.
Key words: Malaria, Nigeria, placenta, pregnancy outcome, prevalence