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Prevalence, predictors, and perceived susceptibility to placental malaria parasitemia among pregnant women in a tertiary hospital in South-Western Nigeria

A.O. Fehintola
F.O. Fehintola
B. Bakare
E.O. Ayegbusi
A.D Ajiboye
O.E Babalola
O.M. Loto


Objective: Is to determine the prevalence and predictors of placental malaria among pregnant women.
Methodology: The study was cross-sectional in design. It was carried out over six months. We administered Pretested questionnaire to 300 eligible subjects. The researchers took maternal peripheral blood for malaria parasites while cord and placental blood sample at delivery for neonatal packed cell volume (PCV) and Malaria parasite. Data were analyzed using STATA 10.
Result: One hundred and forty-four (48%) participants had placental malaria parasitemia, while 173 (57.7%) had peripheral malaria parasitemia. Maternal age less than 20 years (P=0.008), low parity, and hemoglobin type AA (P=0.002) were significantly associated with a higher prevalence of placental parasitemia. Maternal secondary and tertiary education (P=0.013), perceived susceptibility to placental malaria and IPT use (p=0.014) were significantly associated with lower prevalence.
Conclusion: This study has shown that placental parasitemia is a significant problem in pregnancy as it is strongly associated with certain maternal factors. There is the need to intensify control efforts aimed at reducing malaria in pregnancy in Nigeria, and mothers with increased risk factors should receive more focused attention. 

Keywords: Prevalence, risk factors, placental malaria, pregnancy