Socio-demographic and Environmental Factors Influencing Asymptomatic Malaria and Anaemia Incidence among School Children in Fako Division, South West Cameroon: Detailed Study

Aim: This work was aimed to assess the influence of socio-demographic and environmental factors on the incidence of asymptomatic malaria and anaemia among pupils in Fako Division, southwest Cameroon.  Experimental Design: The study was a cross-sectional survey.  Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Fako Division, southwest Cameroon Bolifamba, Dibanda and Mutengene from February to March, 2013. Methodology: A total of 316 pupils aged 4–15 years were studied. Data on socio-demographic and environmental factors was obtained from a semi-structured questionnaire. Blood samples were collected. Malaria parasite incidence and density were determined from Giemsa-stained thin and thick blood smears respectively. Haemoglobin (Hb) levels were determined using a haemoglobinometer. Results: The overall incidence of asymptomatic malaria was 43.4% (CI=38-48.9). Malaria incidence was significantly highest (χ2=7,P=0.03) in pupils of 6-10 years age group (49.0%, CI=42.1-59.9) when compared with their counterparts. Although not significant, malaria parasite incidence was higher in males, pupils with fever, highest in pupils of Bolifamba and poor social status than their respective counterparts. Geometric mean parasite density (GMPD) was significantly highest (Kruskal Wallis test, *χ2=6.4, P=0.04) in Dibandathan other sites. Anaemia incidence was higher among inhabitants of Dibanda (56.7%) than other sites. Anaemia incidence was statistically higher (χ2=5.6, P=0.02) in malaria positive pupils, highest in Dibanda (χ2=27.244, P<0.001) and the middle class when compared with their respective counterparts. Mean HB was significantly higher in malaria negative (t=1-8, P=0.02), highest in the poor class (χ2=13.4, P=0.001) and Mutengene (F=21.2, P=0.0001) when compared with their respective counterparts.  Conclusion: Sensitization on effective malaria control strategies needs to be emphasized so that a reduction in malaria burden can be achieved.

Author (s) Details

Dr. Judith Lum Ndamukong-Nyanga,
Department of Biological Sciences, Higher Teachers Training College, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon and Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Biaka University Institute Buea, P.O.Box 77, Buea, SWR, Cameroon.

Prof. Helen K. Kimbi
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Bamenda, N.W. Region, Cameroon.

Ass. Prof. Irene Ule Ngole Sumbele
Department of Zoology and Animal Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, P.O.Box 63, Buea, SWR, Cameroon.

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