Klinische Pädiatrie: Offener Zugang

Klinische Pädiatrie: Offener Zugang
Offener Zugang

ISSN: 2572-0775


Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum among Infants in Nsukka Metropolis, South East Nigeria and to Ascertain Reliability of Available Diagnostic Techniques

Ozioma P. Agu1*, Ifunanya C. Agu2, Kenneth O. Ugwu1

Background: Malaria infection is of public health concern accounting for 90% annual deaths among under 5 children in Sub-Saharan Africa region. The study aimed to determine the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum among infants in Nsukka metropolis and also ascertain the more effective diagnostic choice.

Methods: Three private hospitals and one government hospital were purposively selected for the study. A total of 150 infants aged 2 months-12 months, were sampled between August to September 2019 and January to March 2020 to represent the two main seasonal episodes in Nigeria. Demographic and health related data were obtained from the infants’ parents/guardians using a structured pre-tested questionnaire. Presence of P. falciparum was screened in the blood samples drawn from these infants using microscopy (thick and thin films) and the Rapid Diagnostic Test kit (RDT).

Results: Our findings showed that out of the 150 samples obtained from the infants, 47 (31.3%) were positive to P. falciparum when counted all together (RDT and microscopy), 31 (20.7%) were positive in both microscopy and RDT. However, 46 (30.7%) and 32 (21.3%) tested positive for RDT and microscopy respectively. For gender, 33 (22.0%) males and 15 (10.0%) females tested positive in both RDT and microscopy. The highest infection burden was seen in infants 8 months-12 months, 23 (15.3%), majority of the positive results obtained in the rainy season, 39 (26.0%) in both microscopy and RDT with no significant difference 150.000 (0.000).

Conclusion: The prevalence of P. falciparum among infants in Nsukka was moderately high 47 (31.3%) and the two diagnostic methods used in the study were equally effective.