Malaria parasite and it effect to human health (a case study of uyo city polytechnic

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malaria parasite and it effect to human health (a case study of uyo city polytechnic


This study investigated the effect of malaria on human health specifically the effect of malarial infection on blood cells at uyo city polytechnic, uyo akwa ibom state, Nigeria. Out of 878 suspected cases of malaria, malarial parasites were detected in 809 blood smear (16.58%). Measurement of Hb, RBCs, WBCs and platelets count were done by using ADVIA® 2120i Hematology system (SIEMENS). The cell counts were cross check by experienced pathologists at Pathology laboratory. This study found that the Plasmodium falciparum infection have more effects on cells causing degradation than other malarial parasite All these findings were statistically significant. uyo city polytechnic

Malaria parasite and it effect to human health(a case study of uyo city polytechnic


Malaria is a disease of human which causes high morbidity and mortality. Disease is of global importance, results in 300–500 million cases yearly and 1.5–2.7 million deaths annually. Approximately 2.48 million malarial cases are reported annually from South Asia, of which 75% cases are from Nigeria alone. [1-2] major cause of morbidity in the tropics. Two hundred and forty seven million cases were reported worldwide in 2006 [3] . Haematological changes are some of the most common complications in malaria and they play a major role in malaria pathology. These changes involve the major cell lines such as red blood cells, leucocytes and thrombocytes. In Western Kenya, severe anaemia is the predominant severe malaria syndrome peaking in the first two years of life and is attributed to Plasmodium falciparum [4] .

Malaria is one of the most important causes of morbidity in the world. It is a vector borne infectious disease caused by a eukaryotic protista of the genus Plasmodium. The disease is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes which carry infective sporozoite stage of Plasmodium parasite in their salivary glands (Akinleye, 2009). It is transmitted from person to person through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito that is infected with one of the four species of Plasmodium: Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae. Children under five years and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to the

disease due to their weaker immune systems (WHO, 2000). Malaria is an acute and chronic disease caused by obligate intracellular Protozoa of the genus Plasmodium. The zoological family Plasmodidae contains protozoan parasites found in the blood of birds, reptiles and mammals (Akinleye, 2009).


  1. falciparum are found throughout tropical Africa, Asia and Latin America. P vivax is worldwide in tropical and some temperate zones. P. ovale is mainly in West Africa, while P. malariae is worldwide but very patchy in distribution (TDR, 2000). P. falciparum is responsible for about 80% of malaria infection in man and P. vivax is not seen among Africans especially West Africans due to the absence of the Duffy blood group (Afolabi Lesi and Adenuga, 1996).

1.1.2 Epidemiology of malaria

Malaria killed 437,000 children befor their fifth birthday in 2013, the majority in sub-Saharan  Africa (WHO, 2014). It is a mosquito-borne infection that killed an estimated 1.1 million people in 1998 and with an estimated 300 to 1600 million new cases, but in 2013 the desease caused an estimated 453,000 under – five deaths. According to the latest estimates, malaria mortality rates were reduced by about 47% globally and by 54% in the WHO African Region between 2000 and 2013. The incidence rates declined by 30% around the world and by 34% in

the African region. These substantial reductions occurred as a result of a major scale-up of vector control interventions, diagnostic testing and treatment with artemisinin – based combination therapies, or ACTs. The absolute numbers of malaria cases and deaths are not going down as fast as they could. The disease still took an estimated 627 000 lives in 2012,  mostly those of children under five years of age in Africa. This means 1300 young lives lost to malaria every day – a strong reminder that victory over this ancient foe is still a long way off (WHO, 2013). Malaria is a major public health problem in Nigeria where it accounts for more

cases and deaths than any other country in the world. Malaria is a risk for 97% of Nigeria’s population. The remaining 3% of the population live in the malaria free highlands. There are an estimated 100 million malaria cases with over 300,000 deaths per year in Nigeria. This compares with 215,000 deaths per year in Nigeria from HIV/AIDS (United States Embassy in Nigeria, 2011). The fact that so many people are dying from mosquito bites is one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century. Like other diseases once banished to the geopolitical margin, malaria is re-appearing in areas of the world formerly deemed disease free. In a 1999

report, WHO warned of the serious risk of uncontrolled resurgence of malaria in Europe owing to civil disorder, global warming, increased irrigation (canals are important breeding sites for mosquitoes) and international travel.



In the United Kingdom, 1,000 new cases of malaria were imported each year from malariaendemic countries. The weakening public infrastructures have triggered large scale epidemics in Central Asian Republics, while in Turkey the numbers of infected individuals have increased tenfold since the diseases was believed to be nearly eradicated in 1989 (WHO, 2000).


Also in 2006, WHO estimated that 3.3 billion persons were at risk of acquiring malaria, of these, 247 million were infected (86% in Africa) and nearly 1 million (mostly African children) died of the infection. In 2008, malaria was endemic in 109 countries worldwide, 45 of them in Africa. According to TDR (2007), an African baby dies from malaria every 3 seconds and at the end of the year, 1 million more babies are buried by the families – a scene which TDR is trying to prevent through its research into the innovative concept of home management of

malaria (HMM). According to United States Embassy in Nigeria report 2011 there were 216 million cases of malaria and an estimated 655,000 deaths in 2011. Most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute and the disease accounting for approximately 27% of all childhood deaths (WHO, 2011). In Nigeria, it has been well known that the bulk of the burden of disease due to malaria is borne by children under the age of five years (Sodeinde, 1997). Malaria contributes greatly to the increase in hospital attendance across the six geo political zones of Ngeria. World malaria report indicated that Nigeria

accounted for a quarter of all malaria cases in the 45 malaria endemic countries in Africa, showing clearly the challenges of malaria in Nigeria (WHO, 2008).


Malaria does not only affect the health of the child but, it also causes great drain on the national economy. The cost of daily labour coupled with cost of treatment and high mortality associated with the disease make malaria one of the main diseases retarding development in Africa (Ekpenyong and Eyo, 2008). Since many malaria endemic countries are already classified among the poor nations, the disease maintains a vicious cycle of disease and poverty.


Early studies on malaria had focused on vector control and chemoprophylaxis and were done without reference to the behaviour and belief system of the affected population. A different approach was taken in the 1970s with the malaria scourge being tackled through socio-cultural and behavioural research (Jones and Williams, 2004). The early 1990s saw an increase in the number of malaria studies that focused on local terms, perceptions of disease causation, treatment seeking behaviour, prescriber behaviour and preventive measures such as the use of

bed nets (Agyepong, 1992; Aikins et al., 1994; Mwenesi et al., 1995; Binka and Adongo, 1997; Muela et al., 1998).

Studies on treatment seeking behaviour have shown that most malaria episodes are first treated at home because there are no nearby health care workers or facilities in many rural areas.

Facilities are so far that families have to walk many miles and hours, and even then with no promise of care at the end of their trip. So people often do not even attempt to seek out care, instead they use local remedies or just wait it out (TDR, 2007). As a result of this TDR in 1998 supported research in the training of local mothers and other communities members to recognize fever, provide prepackaged medication, and keep the medicines properly stored and recorded, and this was tagged “Home Management of Malaria (HMM)”. Therefore, studies in HMM has become a cornerstone in malarial case-management and more generally, of malaria

control in sub-Saharan Africa (Gypapong and Garshong, 2007).


Haematologic abnormalities are considered a feature in Plasmodium falciparum infection. The severity of haematologic disease caused by Plasmodium is related to

Blood is the most easily accessible diagnostic tissue. Changes in haematological parameters are likely to be influenced by any disease condition which affects the haemopoetic physiology at any level. This is likely to happen with an endemic disease such as malaria that affects the host homeostasis at various fronts resulting in a myriad of clinical presentation. Malaria is a the ability of the parasites to invade and grow in different red cell populations as well as the intrinsic growth rate of the parasite [5] .


This study investigated the effect of malaria on human health specifically the effect of malarial infection on blood cells at university of uyo teaching hospital, uyo akwa ibom state, Nigeria. This study investigates the ability of maleria parasites to invade and grow in different red cell populations as well as the intrinsic growth rate of the parasite

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