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Journal of Medical Sciences
Year: 2005  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 294 - 297

Plasmodium Infection in Severely ill Children Aged 0-8 Years in Maiduguri Metropolis, North Eastern Nigeria

L.M. Samdi, S. Oguche, N.B. Molta, I.M. Watila, P.U. Agomo and A.C. Ene    

Abstract: The prevalence of malaria in 411 severely infants and children aged under 8 years old (6-9 months) was studied by consecutively screening each child for malaria parasites in accordance with WHO (1996) and WHO (2003) methods for a period of 8 months. One hundred and twelve infants and children (27.2%) were positive for asexual malaria parasites. 15.8% were males while 47 (11.4%) were females. Infection rate was not significantly different between the sexes (p>0.05). The level of parasitaemia were significantly related to age (p<0.05) the majority 87 (77.6%) of infected infants and children were between the ages of 12-36 months. 77 (66.1%) had <1000 ap/μl, 7 (6.2%) had 1000-5000 ap/μl while 6 (5.3%) had >5000 ap/μl. During the rainy season 87 (77.6%) had <1000 ap/μl, 7 (14.2%) had 1000-5000 ap/μl while 4 (8.1%) had >5000 ap/μl. During the dry cold season 57 (90.4%) infants and children had < 1000 ap/μl, 1 (1.5%) had 1000-5000, while 5(7.9%) had > 5000 ap/μl. There was a significant difference between the seasons (p<0.05). The low parasite density of <1000 ap/μl in 84% of all the cases confirms the distinctive epidemiology of urban malaria and highlights the need for the use of rapid diagnostic tests in addition to thick blood film microscopy to help reduce the margin of errors in the diagnosis of malaria in the sahel.

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