Prevalence of malaria parasitaemia among blood donors in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
AbstractA study of the prevalence of malaria parasitaemia among blood donors in the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, was carried out between December, 2003 and April, 2004. A total of 500 blood samples were collected from blood donors consisting of 262 commercial donors and 238 relation-donors, using venipuncture. Thick and thin films stained with Giemsa and Leishmann's stains, respectively were used for the examination of the blood samples. Of the samples, 387 (77.4%) were positive for malaria parasites. The commercial donors had higher prevalence rate (84.0%) than the relation-donors (70.2%) and being statistically significant (P<0.01). Out of 387 parasitaemic donors, 92.5% and 2.3% were infected with P.falciparum, P.malarial and P.ovale, respectively. The male donors had a higher prevalence rate of 78% compared to females with 58.1% and being statistically significant (P<0.01). The differences in prevalence rates observed in the age groups were statistically significant (P<0.01). There were more infections of malaria parasites among farmers than other occupational group in this study (P<0.01). The prevalence of malaria parasitaemia equally varied with the level of education and statistically significant (P<0.01). This study revealed a high prevalence of malaria parasitaemia among the blood donors which indicates a high risk of transfusing malaria infected blood to susceptible recipients (non-immune and immuno-compromised). Therefore in a bid to save lives, there is the need for blood banks to include malaria parasite species screening as a routine test of blood from the donors.
Nigerian Journal of Parasitology Vol. 25, 2004: 75-80