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Malaria Parasitemia and Anemia among Pregnant Women Attending General Hospital, Enugwu-Ukwu, Southeastern Nigeria

Pauline U. Umeanaeto, Chukwujindu Odagwe, Ifenna C. Onwuagana, , Ginika L. Onwuachusi, Justina C. Akulue, Stella C. Afulukwe

Abstract: Women has been reported to be more susceptible to malaria parasites infection during pregnancy. The disease causes severe anemia in pregnancy sometimes resulting to maternal morbidity and mortality in many parts of the world including Nigeria. A study to determine malaria parasitaemia among pregnant women attending General hospital Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State, Nigeria, was conducted between July and December, 2019. The specific objectives were to determine the prevalence of malaria parasites and anemia among the pregnant women as well and the relationship between malaria and anemia. Two milliliters of venous blood were collected from 408 pregnant women during antenatal visits. Thick and thin blood films were made, stained with 10% Giemsa stain and examined under the microscope for malaria parasites. Hemoglobin (Hb) concentration was estimated using cyanmethemoglobin method. Hemoglobin concentration below 11.0g/dl was regarded as anemia in pregnancy. Of 408 blood samples collected, 112(27.5%) were positive for malaria parasites. The age group 15–20 years had the highest prevalence 8(40%) while the age group 36–40 years had the least 24(23.1%). The primigravidae had the highest malaria prevalence 72(36%), while the multigravidae had the least 40(19.2%). The pregnant women in first trimester had the highest malaria prevalence 48(50%), while those in third trimester had the least 24(16.7%). Malaria parasitaemia in relation to trimester was statistically significant (P<0.05). A total of 248(60.7%) pregnant women had a Hb value less than 11g/dl. The multigravidae had the highest Hb 128(61.5%), while the primigravidae had the least 120(60%). Health education and proper administration of Intermittent Preventive Therapy (IPT) during pregnancy is recommended for malaria prevention and control in pregnancy.
Keywords: pregnant women / anemia / pregnancy / malaria parasites / trimester / highest / Nigeria

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