Document Type

Article

Department

Community Health Sciences

Abstract

Objective: The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of malaria amongst the children with fever or history of fever.SETTING: Rural Health Centre (RHC), Jhangara, a town near the Manchhar Lake in Taluka Sehwan, District Dadu, Sindh.SUBJECTS: Four hundred and thirty eight children of 6 months to 10 years of age, who attended above described RHC during August through October 1997.Methods: A Sindhi-translated standard questionnaire was used to record symptoms and duration of child's illness. Each child was physically examined, had their axillary temperature measured; and blood samples were collected from which Giemsa stained thick and thin blood films were examined for presence of Plasmodium parasites.Results: The median age of the studied children was 24 months and 57% (250/438) were boys. Fifty three percent (231) of the study subjects were from Jhangara Town, 40% (177) and 7% (30) came from other villages and villages near to the Manchhar Lake respectively. The prevalence of Plasmodium slide positivity was 5.9% (26/438). Among Plasmodium slide positive children, 65% (17/26) were positive for P. falciparum and 35% (9/26) for P. vivax. Among the P. falciparum positive children, 88% (15/26) had scanty (MP, 1-10/100 fields) and 12% (2/26) had moderate density (MP, 10-100/100 fields) of infection. Seventeen percent (6/30) of the children from villages close to Manchhar Lake were Plasmodium slide positive compared to 7% (17/53) and 3% (5/177) from Jhangara town and other villages respectively. Cough, diarrhea, abdominal distention and vomiting were the commonly reported symptoms among the children of all ages at the time of interview. Guardians reported fever as part of the illness in all children, although during physical examination only 128 (29%) had axillary temperature > or = 37.5 degrees C. Pallor as an indicator for anemia, rash and prickly heat were the major recorded observations.CONCLUSION: The Prevalence of Plasmodium positivity was higher in children who attended from villages close to Manchhar lake, therefore especial measure needs to be considered for this area. In addition, the health care workers in rural Sindh need to adopt appropriate guidelines to differentiate the clinical malarial patients from patients with other potential infectious diseases, which may need other treatment.

Publication

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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