Nigerian Journal of Parasitology

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The burden of anaemia in Plasmodium falciparum parasitized and non-parasitized children, Minna, north-central Nigeria

H.U. Yamman, I.C.J. Omalu, A. Abubakar, S.O. Abolarinwa, S.S. Eke


Plasmodium falciparum infection may cause severe anaemia, particularly in children. There are several kinds of anaemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. This study however, was conducted for a period of 3 months between February and May, 2018, to assess the frequency and types of anaemia in malarial infection. A total of 301 children below 17 years were recruited from the community and selected healthcare facilities. Thick and thin films of the blood samples were prepared for parasite identification and a complete blood count was conducted to determine the presence of anaemia. Multinomial logistic regression was used to predict relationships between anaemia and P. falciparum. Children with anaemia as a result of low levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit were observed as 65% and 61% respectively. Meanwhile, in parasitized subjects, prevalent rates of anaemia decreases with age and the overall prevalence was recorded as 49%(150) and 47%(142) in children with low levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit respectively. It was also observed that P. falciparum parasite was not a significant factor in the anaemia transmission (p>0.05). Similarly, anaemia prevalence decreases as the severity intensified (from severe, to moderate and mild), with most prevalence observed in mild anaemia 31%(96). The attributable risk of anaemia by malaria in this study was observed in low hemoglobin anaemia as 7.12% which was lower than what was observed in low hematocrit anaemia 8.11%. This study provides a significant relationship between anaemia sub-types and malaria infection and proves anaemia to be a major public health problem in this community as over 60% of the study population had anaemia.

Keywords: Anaemia; hematocrit; hemoglobin.

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