Pregnancy and fetal outcome of placental malaria parasitemia in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
AO Fehintola1, FO Fehintola2, OM Loto3, OB Fasubaa3, B Bakare4, O Ogundele5
1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health, Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
5 Department of Community Health, Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
A O Fehintola
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Placental malaria constitutes a major threat to the well-being of both the mother and fetus (es). It is a common complication of malaria in pregnancy, in areas where malaria is endemic. It is, therefore, imperative to study the prevalence as well as pregnancy and fetal outcome of placental malaria in our area.
Methodology: The study was a cross-sectional study carried out over a 6-month period. A total of 300 eligible subjects were involved in the study. A pretested questionnaire was administered. Maternal peripheral blood was taken for malaria parasites while cord and placental blood samples were taken at delivery for neonatal packed cell volume and malaria parasite. Neonatal anthropometric measurements were recorded in a standardized pro forma. Data were analyzed using STATA 10. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed.
Results: Of the 300 participants studied, 48% had placental malaria parasitemia while 57.7% had peripheral malaria parasitemia. Pregnancy and perinatal outcome that was strongly associated with placental parasitemia includes maternal anemia (P < 0.0001); low birth weight (LBW) (P < 0.0001); and congenital malaria.
Conclusion: Placental parasitemia constitutes a major challenge in pregnancy as it is significantly and adversely associated with perinatal outcomes such as LBW and congenital malaria as well as with maternal anemia. Therefore, the need for adequate protection of pregnant women in malaria endemic area from the harmful effect of placental malaria is, therefore, absolutely essential.