Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 68-71

The presenting complaints of children with severe malaria

Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, Yenagoa, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Kobina Imananagha
Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Severe malaria (SM) remains a major health problem confronting the people of Sub-Sahara Africa, where children under five years of age are at great risk. Aims: To document the presenting complaints of children with this life-threatening disease, with the ultimate aim of identifying non-laboratory criteria for the grading of case severity of SM. Material and Methods: The study documented the presenting complaints of 155 Niger Delta children whose disease conditions fulfilled the 2000 World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for severe malaria. The required data were extracted from the hospital records of the patients of two Nigerian tertiary hospitals. Results: A total of eight most common presenting complaints were identified, namely fever (100%), anemia (86%), vomiting (54%), convulsion (43%), impaired consciousness/coma (43%), cough (36%), respiratory distress (28%) and prostration (19%). In addition, the presenting complaint-related fatality rates were calculated. Overall severe malaria mortality was 10.3%. Conclusion: The data obtained from this study will be used, in the next stage of our study, in formulating a non-laboratory method of grading SM in children.

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