The use of microscopy and rapid diagnostic test in diagnosing the prevalence of malaria among women attending antenatal clinic in Dutsin Ma, Katsina State, Nigeria
Malaria during pregnancy continues to be an overwhelming health problem in endemic countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa with clinical consequences. This study was to determine the occurrence of malaria parasite and to compare the use of Microscopy and Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) in diagnosis of malaria parasite in pregnant women in Dutsin-Ma LGA of Katsina State. Two hundred (200) blood samples were collected from pregnant women and tested for malaria parasites using thin smears and RDTs. Interviews were conducted and structured questionnaires administered to obtain information on the clinical and social aspects of malaria; of which the response was 85% positive to the symptoms and causes of malaria, 60.5% were found to be infected with malaria and 39.5% where negative. Out of 60.5% that tested positive for malaria, only 20% tested positive using RDTs. Plasmodium falciparum was the only specie isolated.The result showed that malaria infection was prevalent during pregnancy and young women (age-groups 15-19 years) recorded the highest prevalence (78.4%). The pregnant women in their second gestational period recorded the highest occurrence of 77.9% (p>0.05). Among the gravid-status, Primigravidae had the highest prevalence rate of 65.7% (p<0.05); while among the educational group, those with tertiary education had the highest percentage (72.7%). A high percentage of the respondents attributed malaria infection to mosquito bites. The result from this work shows that RDTs might not be an accurate diagnosis in demonstrating the presence of parasitaemia.
Keywords: Diagnosis; rapid diagnostic test; Dutsin-Ma; Katsina; microscopy; malaria; prevalence; pregnancy; Nigeria