A Study of Childhood Malaria trends at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital: 2006 – 2018

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Iroro Enameguolo Yarhere
Alice Romokek Nte


Malarial disease, severe malaria, Nigeria, decline


Background: Several efforts have been put in place to reduce the global burden of malaria especially in children and in sub-Saharan Africa. The study aimed to evaluate the impact of malaria control activities on the trend of childhood malarial diseases at a tertiary hospital in South-south Nigeria.

Methodology: A retrospective review of the case records of all malaria diagnoses including in-patient, out-patient, and emergency room, seen in the Department of paediatrics at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital from January 2006 to December 2018 was conducted.

Results: There were 41, 863 malaria cases diagnosed over the 12 years with a decline in yearly diagnosis and admissions, from the year 2006 through 2018. Total malaria admissions were 578, (44.5/ year), giving a severe malaria incidence of 1.26%, and there were 164 malaria death cases, with a yearly average of 12. The causes of death in the children with malarial parasitaemia were severe anaemia in 75 (45.7%), hypoglycaemia in 14 (8.5%), cerebral malaria in 17 (10.4%), and prostration with other co-morbidities, 22 (13.4%). Thirty-six children (22%) were convulsing and died soon after admission, with a compounding diagnosis of aspiration and respiratory failure.

Conclusion: There is a gradual reduction in childhood malaria disease, admission, and death, though this is slower than anticipated based on efforts and strategies put in place by the Nigerian government and various organizations.

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