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Malaria Parasitemia and Severe Health Complications in Children Under Five Years of Age in Nigeria: A Study Using the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) 2021
Authors: Olajide J. Olagunju, Onyeka C. Ekwebene, Olayinka E. Olagunju, Olagoke Osanyinlusi, Oladayo A. Oyebanji, and Ben Egbo
Source: Cureus, Volume 16, issue 4; DOI:10.7759/cureus.58907
Topic(s): Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: APR 2024
Abstract: Background: In Nigeria, 97% of the population is at risk of contracting malaria. It is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes carrying the Plasmodium parasite and can be lethal. An estimated 55 million illnesses and 80,000 deaths per year result from it. Children under five are more likely to contract malaria. Efforts to control malaria in Nigeria include indoor residual spraying, insecticide-treated bed nets, and quick detection and treatment of confirmed cases with effective antimalarial medications. These attempts have been impeded by limited healthcare access, poor financing, and drug-resistant parasites. Thus, the study of the relationship between malaria complications and housing for children under five is essential. Methods: The Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) 2021, a nationally representative data set from developing countries on population and health, was used for this study. A sample size of 13,727 was employed (n=13,727). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to test the association between the type of place of residence and malaria complications (outcome). Results: Overall, 4.2% (n=570, weight HV005) of participants in the sample reported malaria complications. The results of the logistic regression revealed that children residing in urban settlements (aOR 0.37, 95% CI 0.37-0.37, p-value <0.001), children from the poorest class families (aOR 11.63, 95% CI 1.62-1.63, p-value 0.004), children from poorer class families (aOR 7.56, 95% CI 7.55-7.57, p-value <0.001), children from middle-class families (aOR 4.05, 95% CI 4.03-9.06, p-value <0.001), children from richer class families (aOR 1.22, 95% CI 2.21-2.23, p-value <0.001), children of mothers with primary education (aOR 0.42, 95% CI 2.32-4.112, p-value 0.001), children of mothers with secondary education (aOR 0.24, 95% CI 3.21-3.22, p-value <0.001), children of mothers with higher education (aOR 0.08, 95% CI 0.72-0.80, p-value <0.001), and children of the female gender (aOR 0.65, 95% CI 0.65-0.66, p-value <0.001) are all associated with severe malaria complications. Conclusions: In conclusion, the study examined malaria complications in Nigerian children under five by residency. The findings imply that rural children are more likely to have serious malaria complications than urban children. This emphasizes the necessity for targeted malaria therapies in rural areas with limited healthcare access.