Relationship Between Malaria parasitaemia and Nutritional Status of Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic in the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
A detailed knowledge of the relationship between malaria burden and nutritional status in pregnancy is an important pre-requisite for controlling malaria parasitaemia during pregnancy. The study was undertaken to determine the relationship between nutritional status and malaria density among 364 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital Okolobiri, Yenagoa. Two milliliters of whole blood was collected from each of the consented pregnant women using veni puncture into sterile anti-coagulated EDTA containers that are duely labeled. The preparation of thick and thin blood films and the identification of malaria parasite followed standard procedure. The determination of the anthropometrics indices (heights and weights) were used to derived the Body Mass Index BMI) and nutritional status of the pregnant women according to standard procedures. From the anthropometric analysis, the mean BMI prevalence of underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese are 44.8%, 12.1%, 22.8% and 20.3% respectively. Out of 364 pregnant women examined, 323(88.7%) were infected with malaria parasites, 215(66.6%) were due to Plasmodium falciparum, 49(15.2%) were Plasmodium vivax and 59(18.3%) were mixed. Malaria parasites accounted for 159(49.2%) of underweight, 40(12.4%) of normal weight, 63(19.5%) of overweight and 61(18.9%) of obese of the pregnant women. Differences were significant (p<0.05).