Prevalence of Malaria Parasites and Anaemia in Pregnant and Non Pregnant Women in Aba and Okigwe Towns of Southeast Nigeria
A study of the prevalence of Malaria parasites in pregnant women attending pre - natal care in Government hospitals in two major towns (Aba and Okigwe) in Southeast Ngeria was carried out.Blood was collected by vein puncture rom 500 pregnant women in different trimesters (300 from Aba and 200 from Okigwe) and 200 non - pregnant women, 100 from each town. Presence of Malaria parasite was observed microscopically on thin and thick blood smears prepared from each sample. Personal data were collected both orally and from maternity records of the women. The results were analysed statisticaly using the Chi - square tes. Only the ring trophozoite and gametocyte forms of Plasmodium falciparum were observed in the infected samples. A total of 270 (54 %) pregnant women out of the 500 examined were infeced with P. falciparum whie 66(33 %)of the non - pregnant women sampled were infected. This represents a significant difference. Aba had 158 (52.6 %) out of the 300 pregnant women examined infected while Okgwe had 112(56 %)of the 200 pregnant women examined infected. There was no signficant dference between the results obtained in the two towns. (P > 005). Peak prevalence was observed in the first trimester 64.1 % (100 out of 156) whe 3rd trmester showed the lowest 45 % (68 of150). Prevalence was also highest in primgraviidae and women in second pregnancy (67.96 %). Multiparous women (3rdpregnancy and above) had 39.31 % . Age was significant. Anaemia (Hb. < 11g/dl) was observed in 385 (77 % ) of the 500 pregnantwomen examined. Of the 270 inectedwomen 254(94.07 %)were anaemic. Anaemia was significantly higher inwomen with higher parastemia (Z.cal. = 9.06). The implicatons of this result on the epidemiology of malaria are discussed.
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