Prevalence of malaria parasitaemia amongst asymptomatic pregnant women in Sagamu.
Background: Malaria in pregnancy is an important contributor to adverse maternal and perinatal outcome. Early identification of the infected pregnant woman and prompt treatment may provide an opportunity to prevent these adverse effects.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia amongst pregnant women attending their first antenatal clinic at OlabisiOnabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, OgunState Nigeria.
Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional study involving 468 pregnant women. A data capture sheet was used for recording information on the socio-demographic characteristics of the subjects.Blood samples were collected from the women and examined for malaria parasite. The packed cell volume was also estimated. Statistical analysis was done using IBM-SPSS Windows version 20.
Results: The mean age of study participants was 26.7 ± 5.1 years and the age range was 17- 42 years. The prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia was 49.6%. Nulliparity and anaemia (PCV <30%) were associated with increased prevalence of malaria parasitaemia although not statistically significant. However, factors such as low maternal age and low gestational age at booking were significantly associated with increased prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia.
Conclusion: The prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia was high in Sagamu. Women below 20 years of age and those in their first trimester were the most significant risk groups. It is recommended that relevant authorities should ensure universal implementation of malaria control strategies such as use insecticide treated nets and intermittent preventive treatment.
Keywords: Malaria, Parasitaemia, Pregnancy, Asymptomatic, Prevalence
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