Malaria parasite infections among school-aged children in Jalingo and Sardauna Local Government Areas, Taraba State, Nigeria
Malaria contributes significantly to the burden of disease especially among children less than five years. This study investigated the prevalence of malaria parasite infection among school-aged children in Jalingo and Sardauna LGAs of Taraba State, Nigeria. Structured questionnaire was used to obtain demographic information and microscopy used to determine parasitaemia level among 1,000 school-aged children (2-15 years) from ten selected communities who participated. Results showed that of the 1,000 children, 359(35.9%) were infected with malaria parasites. Children within the age 2-5 years had higher prevalence of 212(21.2%) when comared to other age groups. Assessing communities with respect to parasite load, Magami had the highest parasitaemia of 36(3.6%)+, 19(1.9%)++ and 1(0.1%)+++ while Maisamari Community had the lowest parasite intensity of 14(1.4%) + and 1(0.1%) ++, respectively. The moderate prevalence observed could be due to good knowledge of caregivers on malaria transmission. There is the need to sustain the current media and health facility based campaigns on malaria prevention strategies and maintenance of clean environmental condition.
Keywords: Prevalence; parasitaemia; microscopy; environmental condition.