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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

Abstract


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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