This study was aimed at examining existing relationship between peripheral parasitaemia of Plasmodium falciparum and anemia among pregnant women in a secondary hospital and a tertiary hospital in Osogbo, South-Western, Nigeria. Two hundred and twenty five (225) patients were enrolled into this study, one hundred and fifty (150) from Asubiaro General Hospital, Osogbo and seventy five (75) from LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo. A total of 30 (13.3%) women carrying the first pregnancy (primigravida), and 195 (86.6%) multiparous women (2-5) were enrolled. Mean age of recruited women was 31.511± SD 1.03, mean gestational age was 2.4267 ± SD 0.72 and mean packed cell volume was also 26.889 ± SD 0.43. Overall prevalence of malaria parasitemia was 63.6% while mean malaria parasite density was 461.33 among women infected with malaria parasite. Prevalence of malaria in pregnancy was highest amongst women with first pregnancy and in the age bracket 26 – 30 years (26.7%) and least among women greater than 40 years. Parasitemia decreased as parity increased, as women acquire immunity to malaria progressively with multiple pregnancies. Mild to moderate anaemia was also found to be prevalent among primigravida (11.6%) and this was associated with malaria parasitemia among these women .No correlated relationship was established between malaria parasitemia and age, gravidity, trimester of pregnancy, and Packed cell volume. Malaria chemoprophylaxis and other methods of malaria control should be sustained and advocacy for inclusion of malaria treatment in safe motherhood should be continued because of its beneficial potentials.
Key words: Malaria, Pregnancy, anaemia.
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