Malaria parasitaemia among febrile under-five children at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, South-East, Nigeria
Background: Malaria is an infectious disease caused by Plasmodium and transmitted by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. It continues to be a global challenge with about half of the world's population being at risk of the disease and under–5 children being the most vulnerable.
Aims and Objectives: To determine the prevalence of malaria parasitaemia and some associated symptoms among febrile under-five children presenting at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A total of 200 children under the age of five years were recruited for the study. Data on socio-demographic characteristics and symptoms were collected through interviewer administered questionnaire. They were physically examine and blood sample was collected from each of them. The Blood smear was Giemsa stained and examined microscopically for malaria parasite.
Result: There were 118 males and 82 females, giving a male: female ratio of 1.44:1. Their ages ranged from 3-59 months and the average age was 27+17.49 months. Those in the age range of 12-23 months and 24-35 months constitute the highest number (23%) each. Forty-seven (23.5%) came from the rural area while 153(76.5%) came from the urban area. Average number of days the subjects had fever before presentation were 3.78+1.95 days with a range of 1-30 0 days. Body temperature ranged from 35.9-40.4 C with average of 37.7+0.8oC. Forty (20%) were positive to microscopy. Those in the age range of 47-59 months have the highest prevalence of malaria. Parasite density ranged from 40-136,000/μL with a mean of 18,687.2+3360/μL. All the children who are positive by microcopy had Plasmodium falciparium as the specie causing malaria.
Conclusion: Malaria parasitaemia among these under-5 children is 20%.
Keywords: Malaria, parasitaemia, under-5