Prevalence of uncomplicated malaria in a paediatrics outpatient department of a tertiary health institution in Sokoto, Nigeria
Background: Malaria remains one of the major tropical health challenges in the world today. It accounts for more than 80% of estimated 1.5 – 3 million deaths of children annually especially those aged 5 years and below. There is paucity of data on the prevalence of uncomplicated malaria in children in Sokoto.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of uncomplicated malaria in children aged 0 – 15 years.
Methods: The health registers and outpatient cards of children aged 0 – 15 years that presented to the Paediatrics Outpatient Department/Clinic of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria, between 1st June 2007 and 31st May 2009 were studied retrospectively. Information of the patients with regards to their age, gender, presenting features, date of presentation at the clinic, and diagnosis of malaria (clinical and parasitological) were extracted from the registers and case records and analyzed.
Results: During the study period, a total of 15,909 children aged 0 – 15 years were seen in our clinic. Of this number, 7,224 had clinical and parasitological diagnosis of uncomplicated malaria giving a prevalence rate of 45.4%.those aged 5 years and below were 5,782 (49.6%) while the remaining 1,442 (34.0%) were aged above 5 years. Males were 4,068 (56.3%) while the females were 3,156 (43.7%) with M: F ratio of 1.3:1. The main presenting symptoms were fever (100%), reduced appetite (80.5%), reduced activity (75%) and chills (74%). The main presenting signs were pyrexia (84.5%), splenomegaly (38%) and hepatomegaly (14%). Malaria was the leading cause of paediatrics outpatient clinic
attendance followed by acute respiratory infection and diarrhoeal disease. Though malaria occurred throughout the year, majority of the cases were seen during the raining and early dry reasons.
Conclusion: Malaria is partly meso-endemic and hyper endemic in the studied area and children aged 5-years and below are the most susceptible. It is therefore, recommended that more efforts should be
put in place towards malaria control and prevention particularly in this age group.