The status of malaria among pregnant women: a study in Lagos, Nigeria

Afr J Reprod Health. 2003 Dec;7(3):77-83.


A study was carried out on the status of malaria among 800 randomly selected pregnant women in Lagos State, Nigeria. Blood samples were obtained from finger pricking and tested for malaria parasites in thin blood films and 60% prevalence of malaria parasites was obtained. Interviews were conducted and structured questionnaires were administered to the pregnant women to obtain information on the clinical and social aspects of malaria. Results show that primigravidae accounted for a greater part of the 60% prevalence of malaria that affected mainly women in their 1st to 3rd month of pregnancy. The ages of the infected women ranged from 30 to 39 years (77%). Women with blood groups A and O had the highest prevalence of malaria, but there was no statistically significant difference between them and the uninfected women. Women with genotype AA had the highest prevalence of malaria, while pregnant women in Ikeja division had the highest incidence of malaria (41.7%). Majority of the infected women believed that mosquito bites and stress were responsible for their infection. Only 21.8% of the women did not associate mosquitoes with malaria. All the women were familiar with the symptoms of malaria but did not see it as a serious disease that could lead to death. Most of the women used bed nets but not the impregnated brands. There is need to educate women, especially during antenatal visits, on the severity of malaria and the risk of their susceptibility to it during pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / diagnosis
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology*
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / blood
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / epidemiology*