Patience Deborah Iduh*, Chinyelu Obianuju Mba and Ransom Baribefii Jacob


Nigeria has a very high prevalence of malaria, especially among children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the haematological profile of adolescents before and after treatment of Plasmodium falciparum infection. It was an observational longitudinal study of 91 adolescents which comprises of 61 (67.0%) subjects with mild to moderate infection and 30 (33.0%) apparently healthy controls. The study was carried out in Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Medical services Akpajo, Port Harcourt, Rivers state. Three milliliters of whole blood stored in EDTA bottle was used for the assays. Abacus 380 Haematological Analyzer was used for the analysis of full blood count; while malaria parasite diagnosis was done using RDT, quantitative buffy coat for malaria parasite and thick blood film. Infected subject were treated with antimalaria drug. Graph Pad Prism was used for data analysis and T-test was used to test for association. P-value of < 0.05 was considered significant at 95% confidence interval (CI). There were 49 males and 42 females with mean age of 13.72 years. At baseline (before treatment), there was significantly lower haemoglobin (p=0.0001), haematocrit (p=0.002), red cell distribution width (RDW) (p=0.033) and platelet distribution width (PDW) (p=0.034) among the infected subjects when compared to control group. Males had higher total white blood cell count (TWBC) (p=0.001), haemoglobin concentration (p=0.016), haematocrit (p=0.001), RDW (p=0.031) and PDW (p=0.020) when compared to females. After treatment of the infection, there was significantly decreased TWBC (p=0.0001), lymphocytes (p=0.005) and haematocrit (p=0,017); with increased mean cell volume (MCV) (p=0.0001), mean cell haemoglobin (MCH) (p=0.0001) and PDW (p=0.007). Also, males had significantly higher TWBC (p=0.0002), mid cell (p=0.0001) and PDW (p=0.049); with lower granulocytes (p=0.040), MCV (p=0.001), MCH (p=0.001), mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) (p=0.026) when compared to females after treatment. Malaria affects haematological indices of adolescents. There is need for health promotion and education campaigns to enlightening the masses on the strategies for prevention and management of malaria infection.

Keywords: Malaria, Haematological Indices, Adolescents, Nigeria.

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