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Unravelling factors associated with malaria parasitaemia among children 6–24 months to inform malaria interventions in Nigeria: evidence from 2021 Malaria Indicator Survey
Authors: Chinazo N. Ujuju, Olugbenga A. Mokuolu, Chinyere Nwafor-Okoli & Kenechi O. Nnamani
Source: Malaria Journal, 22
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Africa
Published: AUG 2023
Abstract: Background: As an additional two million malaria cases were reported in 2021 compared to the previous year, concerted efforts toward achieving a steady decline in malaria cases are needed to achieve malaria elimination goals. This work aimed at determining the factors associated with malaria parasitaemia among children 6–24 months for better targeting of malaria interventions. Methods: A cross-sectional study analysed 2021 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey dataset. Data from 3058 children 6–24 months were analyzed. The outcome variable was children 6–24 months whose parasitaemia was determined using a rapid diagnostic test (RDT). Independent variables include child age in months, mothers’ age, mothers’ education, region, place of residence, household ownership and child use of insecticide-treated net (ITN), exposure to malaria messages and knowledge of ways to prevent malaria. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine possible factors associated with malaria parasitaemia in children 6–24 months. Results: Findings revealed that 28.7% of the 3058 children aged 6–24 months tested positive for malaria by RDT. About 63% of children 12–17 months (aOR?=?1.63, 95% CI 1.31–2.03) and 91% of children 18 to 24 months (aOR?=?1.91, 95% CI 1.51–2.42) were more likely to have a positive malaria test result. Positive malaria test result was also more likely in rural areas (aOR?=?1.79, 95% CI 2.02–24.46), northeast (aOR?=?1.54, 95% CI 1.02–2.31) and northwest (aOR?=?1.63, 95% CI 1.10–2.40) region. In addition, about 39% of children who slept under ITN had a positive malaria test result (aOR?=?1.39 95% CI 1.01–1.90). While children of mothers with secondary (aOR?=?0.40, 95% CI 0.29–0.56) and higher (aOR?=?0.26, 95% CI 0.16–0.43) levels of education and mothers who were aware of ways of avoiding malaria (aOR?=?0.69, 95% CI 0.53–0.90) were less likely to have a malaria positive test result. Conclusion: As older children 12 to 24 months, children residing in the rural, northeast, and northwest region are more likely to have malaria, additional intervention should target them in an effort to end malaria.