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Aims: Malaria in pregnancy is a weighty health problem in sub-Saharan Africa where 90% of the global malaria burden occurs, therefore there is urgent need for more researches on malaria in pregnancy to reduce its mortality and morbidity. Anaemia, body mass index and risk factors association with malarious pregnant women in Ebonyi State was investigated in this study.
Study Design: A cross-sectional study on malaria infection among pregnant women in Ebonyi State, Nigeria was carried out from April 2011 to March 2012 from two selected hospitals.
Methodology: Venous blood samples were collected for thick and thin films blood smears for microscopic examinations. Presence or absence of anaemia was determined by measuring haemoglobin concentration spectrophotometrically using the cyanmethemoglobin method. Chi-square (χ2) was used to analyse the data collected. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.
Results: The result showed that out of 360 pregnant women sampled with average age of (26.54 ± 4.61), infection rate of 150 (41.7%) was observed. The prevalence of anaemia was 202(56.1%) and it was highly associated with malaria, infection was higher among pregnant women who were anaemic than those who were not. Also, body mass index is associated with malaria as it showed its highest prevalence amongst overweight pregnant women. The risk factors associated with malaria in this study were rainy season, primigravidae and primary education.
Conclusion: Increased awareness about anaemia, body mass index and risk factors such as rainy season, primigravidae and primary education association with malaria as established in this study could help in the reduction of the burden of malaria among pregnant women.
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