Subjects: RC955-962, RC109-216, wh_155, wc_755_1, Infectious and parasitic diseases, Arctic medicine. Tropical medicine, ws_200, Research
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A survey in Kumasi, Ghana found a marked Plasmodium falciparum prevalence difference between two neighbouring communities (Moshie Zongo and Manhyia). The primary objective of this follow-up study was to determine whether this parasite rate difference was consistent over time. Secondary objectives were to compare prevalences of clinical malaria, anaemia, intestinal parasite infections, and malnutrition between these communities; and to identify potential risk factors for P. falciparum infection and anaemia.
A cross-sectional house-to-house survey of P. falciparum parasitaemia, clinical malaria, anaemia, anthropometric indices, and intestinal helminths was conducted in April-May 2005. Data collection included child and household demographics, mosquito avoidance practices, distance to nearest health facility, child's travel history, symptoms, and anti-malarial use. Risk factors for P. falciparum and anaemia (Hb < 11 g/dl) were identified using generalized linear mixed models.
In total, 296 children were tested from 184 households. Prevalences of P. falciparum, clinical malaria, anaemia, and stunting were significantly higher in Moshie Zongo (37.8%, 16.9%, 66.2% and 21.1%, respectively) compared to Manhyia (12.8%, 3.4%, 34.5% and 7.4%). Of 197 children tested for helminths, four were positive for Dicrocoelium dendriticum. Population attributable risks (PAR%) of anaemia were 16.5% (P. falciparum) and 7.6% (malnutrition). Risk factors for P. falciparum infection were older age, rural travel, and lower socioeconomic status. Risk factors for anaemia were P. falciparum infection, Moshie Zongo residence, male sex, and younger age.
Heterogeneities in malariometric indices between neighbouring Kumasi communities are consistent over time. The low helminth prevalence, and the twofold higher PAR% of anaemia attributable to P. falciparum infection compared to malnutrition, indicate the importance of malaria as a cause of anaemia in this urban population.