Malaria Parasite Infection and its Effect on Packed Cell Volume among Pregnant Women in Zaria, Nigeria
International Journal of Tropical Diseases
Malaria in pregnancy is a major public health challenge and priority, because it is a health risk for the mother and her fetus. This study was aimed at determining the prevalence of malaria parasites and its effect on packed cell volume (PCV) among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in Zaria. A total of 102 pregnant women on ante-natal visit in three different hospitals were enrolled and questionnaires were administered to them to obtain data on some risks and sociodemographic factors
... t predispose to malaria. Blood samples (2 ml each) were collected from the women and examined microscopically for malaria parasites using thin and thick blood smears. Colored parasitology atlases were used as guide in identification. Packed Cell Volume (PCV) was determined using the microhaemoparasites centrifuge technique. Statistical analysis was done using IBM SPSS version 21.0 and P value ≤ 0.05 was considered significant. Malaria parasite was detected in 23.5% (24/102) of the women. Plasmodium falciparum was the only occurring Plasmodium specie detected. Pregnant women within the age group 36-40 years had the highest infection with Plasmodium falciparum (42.9%:3/7), while those in age group 21-26 years were the least infected (12.5%:3/24). Pregnant women in their third trimester were most infected with Plasmodium falciparum (27.6%:8/29) than women in other trimesters. Women that had PCV lower than 30 and were considered anemic had higher percentage of the parasite (42.9%:12/28) than those with normal PCV (16.2%:12/74). Nonuse of mosquito nets, presence of stagnant water in residential area and PCV were factors find to predispose to malaria in the study. It is recommended that pregnant women undergo regular assessment on malaria parasite infection so that early attention may be given to infected ones in order to have safe delivery.