Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences

Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences
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Prevalence and Parasite Density of Asymptomatic Malaria Parasitemia among Unbooked Paturients at Abakaliki, Nigeria

Author(s): Nwali Matthew Igwe, Umeora Odidika Ugochukwu Joannes, Ozumba Benjamin Chukwuma1, Onoh Robinson Chukwudi, Ezeonu Paul Oliaemeka, Agwu Uzoma Maryrose, Agboeze Joseph

Background: Malaria in pregnancy has contributed significantly to maternal morbidity and mortality in our environment. Aim: This study was aimed at determining the prevalence, and parasite density of asymptomatic malaria parasitemia among unbooked paturients at Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki. Subjects and Methods: This was a prospective cross‑sectional study conducted in the labor ward complex of the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki over a period of three months from March to May 2012. Two hundred and fifty unbooked women presenting in labor at term and willing to participate were consecutively recruited. A structured data collection sheet was administered to each parturient. Thick and thin blood films were prepared for quantification and speciation of parasitemia respectively. Results: A total of 250 unbooked parturients participated in the study. The mean age of the parturients was 28.2 (7.2) years. One hundred and seven 107/250 (42.8%) were primigravid, 111/250 (44.4%) were between para 1‑4 while 32/250 (12.8%) were para 5 and above. Majority of the parturients 236/250 (95.2%) were of low socio‑economic class. The prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitemia was 77.6%. Asymptomatic malaria parasitemia was most prevalent among paturients of social class 5 (24/32 (75%) and primigravid paturients (93/107 (86.9%)) and the association of asymptomatic malaria parasitemia with parity (χ2 = 10.8, P = 0.01) and social class (χ2 = 10.88, P = 0.02) was statistically significant. Conclusion: There was high prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitemia in the study. Preconceptional care and early antenatal booking are advocated with emphasis on prevention of malaria infestation through health education and effective use of insecticide treated nets and intermittent prophylaxis therapy for malaria during pregnancy.

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