Title

Parasitic Infection among Young Children in Mwami Catchment Area, Chipata District, Eastern Zambia

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

4-2013

Publication Details

This conference presentation was originally published as:

Mukaire, P.E., Katuli, S., Ormsby, G., & Cordero-MacIntyre, Z. (2013, April). Parasitic infection among young children in Mwami catchment area, Chipata District, Eastern Zambia. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Boston, MA.

ANZSRC / FoR Code

111104 Public Nutrition Intervention| 111704 Community Child Health| 111712 Health Promotion| 111717 Primary Health Care

Abstract

Objective: To assess the prevalence of malaria and intestinal parasitic infections, as well as hemoglobin levels in a sample of children.

Methods: We screened for P. falciparum, Ascaris lumbricoides, helminthiasis, hookworms and hemoglobin levels from blood and stool samples collected among 138 children aged 2–7 years from five rural villages. Blood was obtained by finger prick or drawn from the arm. Blood slides were assessed using Field’s Stain A&B staining and screened with an electric microscope for malaria species identification. Fifty fields were examined on each slide. Grade of malaria parasitemia was reported based on the average number of parasites seen per field. Stool was examined using direct wet mount method and the formalin-ethyl acetate concentration method in the laboratory. Hemoglobin (Hb) levels were diagnosed using a hemoglobimeter. We used Pearson correlation to compare Hb level to malaria status.

Results: Of this study population, 52.8% tested positive for malaria; all cases were identified to be caused by P. falciparum. The mean level of hemoglobin was 10.0 ± =1.3 mg/dl. Pearson correlation comparing Hb level to malaria status was not significant (–0.068). Hookworm infection was found in less than 5%; Ascaris lumbricoides was found in only 2% of the children.

Conclusion: Over half of the children tested positive for malaria. Findings for helminthiasis were lower than expected.

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