The Prevalence of Asymptomatic Malaria Amongst Nursery and Primary School Pupils in Bui, Northwest Cameroon: A Cross-Sectional Study
Malaria is a public health concern worldwide, accounting
for 31% of hospital consultations, 44% of hospitalisations, and
18% of deaths, and a cause of school absenteeism amongst
pupils in Cameroon. The negative cognitive impact of malaria on pupils is a call for concern. This
study aimed at determining the prevalence of asymptomatic malaria among pupils.
study was conducted from December 2015 to April 2016 in eight Nursery and Primary Schools in Bui.
A total of 1,152 pupils were systematically screened for malaria using light microscopy.
All anaemic and malaria positive cases were administered ferum folate/ferrous sulphate
and artemether-lumefantrine for treatment. The
prevalence of malaria and anaemia were 12% and 18.4%, respectively; anaemia accounted
for 26.1% of all positive diagnostic tests. Malaria infection was significantly
higher in adolescents aged 5–12 years (73.9%), as well as amongst males (51.4%).
The proportion of pupils with
asymptomatic malaria and anaemia was high. Age, sex, school, and community were associated with asymptomatic
malaria as well as anaemia. Malaria intervention programmes should target asymptomatic
malaria carriers for treatment to minimise transmission.
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