Current Pediatric Research

- Current Pediatric Research (2010) Volume 14, Issue 2

Nutritional status of parasitemic children from malaria endemic rural communities in eastern Nigeria

The impact of malaria infection on the health of the sufferers especially infants and young children is enormous, causing wide range of biochemical and haematological changes. We investigated the effect of malaria infection on the nutritional status of these children, from two rural communities of Ebonyi State, Nigeria, by measuring their serum proteins and iron levels as well as the haemoglobin and packed cell volumes, using standard methods. Our results showed that there was initial significant increase in the total protein and albumin levels in low and moderate malaria densities (p=0.0026 and 0.0277 for total protein, and P< 0.0001 and = 0.0006 for albumin). These decreased as the malaria density increased. There was positive correlation between serum iron and malaria density (f=20.93; P< 0.0001), while other parameters showed negative correlation at p≤0.0025. From the results we are of the opinion that iron supplementation should be avoided during malaria treatment, not minding the degree or severity of anaemia/parasitemia unless in the presence of other complicating condition(s) that may cause iron deficiency. Our results also support the use of albumin infusion in place of other colloidal solutions as a good intervention in severe malaria.

Author(s): Ogbodo S.O.; Okeke A. C; Obu H. A#, Shu E. N, Chukwurah E. F

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