Evaluation of some predisposing factors to malaria related anaemia among children in Benin City, Nigeria

  • OM Ibadin University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
  • A Ofili
  • LU Airauhi
  • O Osabuohien
  • I Osawe


Predisposing factors to severe anaemia in children must be determined and controlled before blood transfusion rate can be reduced among them. Malaria related anaemia remains common indication for blood transfusion in endemic areas and this study was carried out in order to evaluate some of these predisposing factors. It was carried out at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City between June and December 2003. Children with malaria related moderate-severe anaemia were recruited for the study while children with uncomplicated malaria were used as controls. Only 6.4% of the 357 cases received treatment in orthodox health facilities within 48 hours of onset of illness. Reasons adduced for delay, included confidence in other facilities (38.0%), financial constraints, 8.5% and parental ill health (1.5%). In 32.3% of cases, children were considered not ill enough. First aid treatment offered by caregivers included, paracetamol only, paracetamol and chloroquine at sub-optimal doses in 39.2% of cases. Moderate- severe anaemia was significantly associated with time of presentation in hospital (χ2 = 4.97, p<0.05). The need for transfusion was also significantly more in those presented late to hospital (χ2 = 5.50, p< 0.05). Delay in presentation was however independent of care givers' educational status, tribe and religion. Eventual cost of hospitalization (χ2 = 18.95, p < 0.05) and subsequent stay (χ2 = 19.43, p< 0.05) were significantly more in children brought late to hospital. Moderate-severe anaemia complicating malaria was common when the child presents after 48 hours of onset of symptoms. The implications of these on children living in malaria endemic communities are discussed.

Keywords: moderate-severe anaemia, malaria, late presentation, hospital, children

The Tropical Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 13(1) 2006: 23-27

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eISSN: 1117-4153