Potential risk of induced malaria by blood transfusion in South-eastern Nigeria
Induced malaria by blood transfusion is a potential health hazard but is often neglected in many malaria endemic areas. Standard parasitological technique was used to determine the prevalence of malaria among blood donors in the South-eastern Nigeria. Of the total 325 blood donors (310 males and 15 females) screened, 133 (40.9%, CI 95%: 35.6-46.2%) were infected with malaria parasite, 78 (58.6%) had 1-10 parasites per 100 thick film fields ('+' or 4-40 parasites per mm3) while 55 (41.4%) had 11-100 parasites per 100 thick film fields ('++' or 41-400 parasites per mm3). P. falciparum was identified in all the infected cases, however 3 (2.3%) persons had mixed infection with P. malariae. Males were more infected (41.3%, CI 95%: 35.8-46.8%) than females (33.3%, CI 95%: 9.4-57.2%). The infection decreased with age with highest prevalence of 48.5% among those aged 20-25 years. The infection significantly varied with age but not with sex (P<0.05). Individuals with blood group B were slightly more infected (42.1%, 95%CI., 19.6-64.6%) than those of groups O (41.0%,CI 95%: 35.3-46.7%) and A (40.0%, CI 95%: 20.8-59.2%) but there was no significant difference (P < 0.05). Highest prevalence of infection was recorded in the month of April corresponding to the onset of the wet season. An overhaul of existing blood donation policies in many health facilities in the sub-Saharan Africa to incorporate malaria screening is advocated. Curative antimalarial drugs followed by prophylactic drugs should be given to all recipients of Parasitized blood.
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