Perception, knowledge and Seasonal distribution of symptomatic malaria in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.
Background: Â Malaria is a major public health problem in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. The disease kill an estimated 660,000 people yearly, mostly children under five years in this region, with Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo responsible for about 40% of world deaths. Malaria infection is increased during the rainy season due to high rain fall which provide conducive environment for the breeding of the vector. The aim of this study was to determine the seasonal effect on the prevalence of plasmodium infection, and also to assess the perception and knowledge of the aetiology agent of the infection among study subjects.
Methods: Blood films stained with Giemsa were examined microscopically for the detection of the parasite. Structured questionnaire were also administered.
Results: The prevalence of malaria parasite in the study area was 16%. Males (17%) were more infected than the females (16%). The difference in the infection rate was not statistically significant (PËƒ 0.05). Those in age group 0-10 years had the highest infection rate (21%) while those in age group 41-50 and 51-60 had the least infection rate (10%) respectively. The difference in infection rate by age group was statistically significant (PË‚ 0.05). P.falciparum was the most detected specie of the parasite (16%), while P. malariae was 0.04%.Â No infection with P. ovale and P. vivax was detected. Infections were more during the rainy season with 19% than dry season with 13%. The difference in infection rate was statistically significant (PË‚ 0.05). Â Subjects who had knowledge of Plasmodium as the causative agent were 52.8%, while those who had knowledge of mosquito as vector agent were 77%, whereas (8.8%) had knowledge of grasses, stagnant water and bushes as predisposing factor. Subjects who had no knowledge of any preventive measures for malaria infection were 1%, while 99% Â had knowledge of atleast one of the malaria preventive measures.
Conclusion : This study shows that malaria infection is higher during the rainy season than the dry . we therefore recommends preventive and control measures to reduce the high prevalence of malaria infection in the study area during the rainy season.
Â Keywords: Malaria, Mosquito, Climate Change, Calabar, Nigeria.
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