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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-101

Incidence and Predictors of Neonatal Malaria among Newborns admitted within the first 28 days of Life to a Tertiary Healthcare Facility in South-East Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatric, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Nsukka, Nigeria
3 Child Survival Unit, Medical Research Council UK, Gambia Unit, Fajara, The Gambia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chidiebere D I Osuorah
Child Survival Unit, Medical Research Council UK, Gambia Unit, Fajara
The Gambia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcn.JCN_112_18

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Background: The burden of malaria in newborn babies has been a subject of concern as there are variations in published reports. However, incidence and prevalence of malaria parasitemia among newborn babies aged zero to 28 days has not been well reported in Nigeria. Objective: This work sought to determine the incidence of malaria parasitemia in newborn babies aged 0–28 days and determinants of malaria parasitemia in these newborns. Methodology: This descriptive study was conducted over a 7-month period. Four hundred and thirty neonates admitted in the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki that met the inclusion criteria were consecutively enrolled after obtaining consent from their parent(s)/caregiver. Data on sociodemographics of the mother and neonates were obtained using interviewer-administered questionnaire. Blood samples were collected from neonates for malaria parasitemia using blood film microscopy. Results: Of the 430 newborns admitted during the study period, 19 (4.4%) had neonatal malaria with 94.7% (18/19) of those diagnosed between birth and the 7th day of life. This resulted to an in-hospital incidence rate of 44.19 (95% confidence interval 24.33–64.05) per 1000 admitted newborns. Only the use of insecticide-treated bed net during pregnancy was significantly associated with reduction of malaria transmission from the mother to their babies. Conclusions: Malaria in neonates is a prevalent but commonly overlooked cause of morbidity in newborn in the first 28 days of life. Adequate measures to prevent malaria infection in pregnant mothers could help in reducing morbidity and mortality associated with malaria in neonates.

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