Prevalence of malaria in sickle cell patients under five years that visited the Sickle Cell Clinic of Mulago, Jan-April 2018
Nakkazi, Frances Kanyike
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Malaria is caused by the Plasmodium species that is transmitted via the bite of infected female anopheles mosquitoes. According to the International Malaria Foundation, malaria is considered to be one of the main global health problems causing close to a million deaths every year. Sickle cell disease refers to a group of inherited hemoglobin disorders characterized by a predominance of abnormal sickle hemoglobin in erythrocytes (Ndeezi et al., 2016). Sickle cell disease (SCD), or sickle cell anemia, is a major genetic disease that affects most countries in the African Region (WHO, 2018b) . In sickle cell disease, the normal round shape of red blood cells become like crescent moons. This change is due to replacement of one of the glutamic acid residues by valine at position 6 of the β globin chain of hemoglobin. However, in spite of the above, the burden of malaria in SCD patients is still not known. Therefore, we decided to carry out a study to investigate the prevalence of malaria in SCD patients. Our study was concentrated on children under the age of five years with SCD. This is because children of this age group are more vulnerable to malaria. This study aimed at finding out the prevalence of malaria in sickle cell patients below the age of five years that visited the Sickle cell clinic at Mulago hospital in Kampala. The time period studied was between January and April of 2018. A retrospective cross-sectional study was used to review already existing records from HMIS laboratory books with a sample size of 360 patients. The collected data was coded and checked for completeness in preparation for analysis which was done using Stata14. From our findings, 56.7% of the children were male, 43.3%were female. 26% of them were under the age of one year and 74% were above this age. 2.2% of the children tested positive for malaria parasites. In conclusion, the prevalence of malaria in sickle cell patients under the age of five years who visited the Sickle Cell clinic at Mulago hospital between January and April 2018 was 2.2%.