Background: Malaria is a major contributor to deaths in children especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Children less than five years of age are susceptible to malaria infection in endemic regions leading to serious complications. Malaria causes death in children either directly through Cerebral Malaria (CM) and Severe Malaria Anaemia (SMA) or indirectly through co-morbidity with pneumonia or a sequela like hypoglycaemia.
Methods: This retrospective study examined malaria-related deaths among children at Effia-Nkwanta hospital within a study period of 3 years.
Results: A total of 1,416 medical records were reviewed, out of which 223 were medical records of children with fatal outcomes. Deaths over the study period due to all causes were 15.7% (223/1416) and confirmed malaria was 13.7% (40/292). Deaths due to all causes and confirmed malaria decreased from 21.6% and 24.3% in 2010 to 11.1% and 4.4% in 2012, respectively. Anti-malarial testing was done for 152 of the children with 40 positive and 112 negative results. Seventy-one children had no malaria testing done on them, with 23.4% in 2010 40.3% in 2011 and 35.5% in 2012. Anti-malarial treatment was administered to 83% of children who tested negative and 80% of children without anti-malarial testing.
Conclusion: Deaths in the children declined from 2010 to 2012 in this study. Despite this improvement, there was poor anti-malarial testing and improper use of anti-malarial treatment. National malaria programs should ensure improvement in anti-malarial testing and strict adherence to the anti-malarial treatment protocol.
Verner N. Orish
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana.
Adekunle O. Sanyaolu,
AMOOF Healthcare Consulting, Canada.
Ho Polytechnic, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana.
Bruku K. Silverius,
Takoradi Polytechnic, Sekondi-Takoradi, Sekondi, Western Region, Ghana.
Onyekachi S. Onyeabor,
Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Essex County College, Newark, New Jersey, USA.
Nnaemeka C. Iriemenam,
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Tag: – Malaria; children; mortality; anemia; death.