Malaria Parasitaemia and Variations in Haematological Parameters among Pregnant Women in Buea

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Judith Lum Ndamukong- Nyanga
Gisele Christiana Miangu Wolloh
Nyanga Bernard Yunga
Nchangsen Jacqueline
Ngum Catherine Ndamukong


Background: Malaria is a life threatening parasitic disease that is entirely preventable and curable. Pregnant women are among the most vulnerable groups to this deadly disease. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is needed to reduce morbidity and mortality. Haematological changes that occur during malaria infection have been suggested as a potential predictor that can aid in the diagnosis of malaria infection.

Methods: A cross sectional study involving 276 pregnant women with signs and symptoms of malaria was conducted at Regional Hospital Buea (RHB) from April to July 2018. Baselines characteristics of the study population were collected. Blood (4 ml) was collected from each pregnant woman and dispensed into an EDTA tube.  Identification of malaria parasite was done using a rapid diagnostic test (Care StartTM). Complete blood count was performed using an automated haematology analyzer (Mindray®, BC-5300).

Results: Out of the 276 pregnant women, 98 (35.51%) had malaria. A total of eighty eight (31.88%) of the pregnant women were anaemic, with forty eight (17.4%) being malaria infected and forty (14.5%) non-malaria. The mean (± SD) of total white blood cell count in the malaria infected group was 5.9 (±2.4) and was significantly different (p = 0.039) from that of non-malaria infected (6.7[±1.9]) population. Red blood cells significantly (p = 0.001) decreased in malaria infected patients (3.7 [± 0.6]) as compared to non-malaria infections (4.2 (±1.0). The mean (± SD) of platelets counts in malaria infected group was significantly different from that of non-malaria infected pregnant women.

Conclusion: Pregnant women infected with malaria exhibited changes in haematological parameters with low platelets (thrombocytopenia) and Haemoglobin concentration being the most significant predictors of malaria in our study area. These parameters could improve malaria diagnosis when used in combination with other clinical diagnosis.

Pregnant women, haematological parameters, malaria, anaemia

Article Details

How to Cite
Nyanga, J. L. N.-, Wolloh, G. C. M., Yunga, N. B., Jacqueline, N., & Ndamukong, N. C. (2020). Malaria Parasitaemia and Variations in Haematological Parameters among Pregnant Women in Buea. International Journal of Pathogen Research, 4(3), 8-16.
Original Research Article


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