Prevalence and Pattern of Malaria Parasitaemia among Under-Five Febrile Children Attending Paediatric Out-Patient Clinic at University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri
Background: Malaria has remained a major public health problem in Nigeria with the under-five aged children and pregnant women being the most affected. The local epidemiological profile of the disease is dynamic owing to the continuous variation in the various determinants and hence the need for periodic re-evaluation. We aim to determine the prevalence of malaria parasitaemia among the under -five aged children and the effect of various determinants.
Material and Method: In this cross-sectional study, 433 outpatients aged below 5 years with fever or history of fever in the previous 72 hours were enrolled. Relevant information was obtained and recorded using a questionnaire. Thick and thin films were prepared from a finger or heel prick for each of the patients and subjected to microscopy.
Result: The prevalence of malaria parasitaemia was 27.7%. Age, sex, nutritional status, socioeconomic class, temperature at presentation as well as ownership of insecticide treated nets had no significant effect on the prevalence of malaria (p>0.05). Only P. falciparum was seen in all the positive slides. The parasite density was generally low with 48.3% having parasite densities below 100/μl and only 7.5% had parasite density of ≥1000/μl. Parasite density increased significantly with increasing age (p=0041). Nutritional status as well as other studied factors had no significant effect on parasite density (p>0.05).
Conclusion and Recommendation: Prevalence of malaria infection was high in the population studied. It is characterized by low density parasitaemia and hence the need to interpret negative results with caution. Age, gender, socio-economic and nutritional status, temperature at presentation as well as ownership of ITN had no significant effect on prevalence of malaria parasitaemia. There is need to strengthen and scale up various malaria control programs while ensuring proper implementations of programs and activities through effective monitoring and evaluation.
Keywords: Prevalence, Pattern, Malaria, Parasitaemia, Under-five Febrile Children, Outpatient Clinic