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Research Article

Vol. 12 No. 2 (2009)

Effects of Maternal Plasmodium falciparum Malaria and HIV infection on Birth Weight in Southeastern Nigeria

  • Chigozie J Uneke
  • Dochka D Duhlinska
  • Treasure N Ujam
August 12, 2020


The effects of malaria and HIV infection on birth weight were assessed among 300 women in childbirth in Southeastern Nigeria using standard techniques. Prevalence of maternal Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection was 16.0%. Individuals of younger age, primigravidae, anemic (with Hgb <11.0g/dl) and those who had never attended antenatal clinic (ANC) were more likely to have malaria infection. Prevalence of HIV infection was 3.6% and malaria prevalence was significantly higher among HIV-positive than HIV-negative women (37.5%, 95% CI, 4.0-71.0% versus 14.3%, 95% CI., 9.6-19.0%), (χ2 =13.3, P<0.05). Malaria-infected women had a significantly higher proportion of lBW babies than the uninfected (F-ratio=15.05, P<0.05). A higher proportion of low birth weight (lBW) was recorded among anemic women, primigravidae and those who never attended ANC. lBW babies were significantly higher among HIV-positive than HIV-negative women (25.0% vs 16.6%), (F-ratio=130.8, P<0.05). Malaria and HIV interventions via ANC are crucial for reduction of their adverse effects on pregnancy outcome.


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