Preliminary investigations on malaria in sickle cell patients among pregnant women and infants in Lagos, Nigeria

  • OO Okwa Department of Zoology, Parasitology Unit, Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria


Sickle cell patients are a special risk-group that deserves special attention in our endeavour to roll back malaria, especially among the right risk-group. Special attention should be directed at sicklers who are already anaemic. Moreso, malaria is one of the causes of anaemia in the tropics. The gravity of these dual problems prompted this study. Studies were carried out on the status of malaria among 18 pregnant women (sicklers) and 20 infacts (sicklers). They were selected after genotype testing from 480 pregnant women and 600 infants randomly selected in two hospitals in Lagos State. Blood were obtained puncture and finger-pricking, buffered giemsa stains were used on thick blood films. The blood films revealed genotype, parasite density, parasite species and stages, haematocrit value and haemoglobin rate. Spleen examination was carried out. The result of the study confirmed that trophozoites of Plasmodium falciparium formed a greater percentage of the blood parasite stages in pregnant women (60%) and children (48%). Overall, P.falciparium constituted 9% of the parasite density. Haemoglobin rate of 6.0-13.1mg was recorded. Severe splenomegaly (60%), was observed among the children. The result of these findings elicits the precarious state posed to this vulnerable special risk-group, whose situation is further compounded by the anaemic state. They therefore need urgent special attention as we roll back malaria.

Nigerian Journal of Parasitology Vol. 25, 2004: 81-85

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