Adolescent pregnancy and the risk of Plasmodium falciparum malaria and anaemia-a pilot study from Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, Ghana

Acta Trop. 2012 Sep;123(3):244-8. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2012.05.014. Epub 2012 Jun 3.


The problem of malaria in adolescence has been surpassed by the immense burden of malaria in children, most especially less than 5. A substantial amount of work done on malaria in pregnancy in endemic regions has not properly considered the adolescence. The present study therefore aimed at evaluating the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum and anaemia infection in adolescent pregnant girls in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, Ghana. The study was carried out at four hospitals in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis of the western region of Ghana from January 2010 to October 2010. Structured questionnaires were administered to the consenting pregnant women during their antenatal care visits. Information on education, age, gravidae, occupation and socio-demographic characteristics were recorded. Venous bloods were screened for malaria using RAPID response antibody kit and Geimsa staining while haemoglobin estimations were done by cyanmethemoglobin method. The results revealed that adolescent pregnant girls were more likely to have malaria infection than the adult pregnant women (34.6% verses 21.3%, adjusted OR 1.65, 95% CI, 1.03-2.65, P=0.039). In addition, adolescent pregnant girls had higher odds of anaemia than their adult pregnant women equivalent (43.9% versus 33.2%; adjusted OR 1.63, 95% CI, 1.01-2.62, P=0.046). Taken together, these data suggest that adolescent pregnant girls were more likely to have malaria and anaemia compared to their adult pregnant counterpart. Results from this study shows that proactive adolescent friendly policies and control programmes for malaria and anaemia are needed in this region in order to protect this vulnerable group of pregnant women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Ghana
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / complications*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Hemoglobins