Main Article Content
Aim: To determine the pattern and prevalence of malaria in children attending the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
Study Design: Retrospective review.
Place and Duration of Study: University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, 2006-2011.
Methodology: Demographic information and results of laboratory investigations of 27088 patients were retrieved from the laboratory register of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology.
Results: The results showed that 70.84% of the patients had malaria and 29.16% did not have malaria. Of the 19190 patients that had malaria, 10768 (56.11%) were male, 8422 (43.89%) were female. The occurrence of malaria between both sexes was significantly different (X2 = 14.60; p =0.0001). Among the patients, malaria was significantly higher (X2 = 27.86; p < 0.0001) in patients < 5 years (75.56), followed by patients between 5 – 10 years (17.03%) and patients between 10 – 16 years (7.32%). Severe malaria was found in 654 (3.41%) of the patients, which consisted of 380 (58.10%) male and 274 (41.90%) female patients. Severe malaria was also significantly higher (X2 = 111.47; p < 0.0001) in patients under 5 years (70.80%). The occurrence of malaria ranged from 69.15% to 73.93% between May and August (period of heavy rain). A decline in malaria prevalence from 72.38% to 59.17% was observed from 2008 to 2011.
Conclusion: The study showed a significant prevalence of severe malaria among children <5 years. It is recommended that the intermittent preventive treatment should be intensified among children in malaria endemic area to reduce prevalence and improve the quality of life of the children.