Nigerian Journal of Parasitology

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Prevalence of malaria parasitaemia among blood donors in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

JI Mbanugo, S Emenalo


A 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

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