Malaria parasitaemia amongst antenatal women in a tertiary health facility in the Savanna
AbstractContext: Malaria is a major public health problem in Nigeria. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible because of their reduced natural immunity and the presence of a unique form of the disease – placental malaria. Peripheral parasitaemia may be a guide to the presence or absence of placental malaria with its attendant sequelae.
Objectives: The goal of the study was to determine the prevalence of malaria parasitaemia in the Jos University Teaching Hospital and the socio-demographic risk factors for malaria parasitaemia.
Methodology: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out at the antenatal clinic of Jos University Teaching Hospital from 1st August to 30th September 2008. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect information about socio-demographic characteristics and blood samples obtained for malaria parasitaemia, blood group, haemoglobin solubility and HIV test. All the information obtained was analyzed using Epi-info 3.5.1, Atlanta, USA.
Results: The prevalence of malaria parasitaemia at booking antenatal visit in JUTH was 39.7%. The presence of sickle cell trait, use of insecticide treated nets, and those aged less than 20 years were protected against malaria parasitaemia. HIV seropositivity, primiparity and those with anaemia were more likely to have parasitaemia. Blood group, previous history of fever and the use of anti-malarial drugs did not have any association with malaria parasitaemia.
Conclusion: The prevalence of malaria parasitaemia in pregnancy is still high in spite of the availability of evidencebased and cost-effective interventions to prevent malaria in pregnancy.
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