Main Article Content
Aims: This study aimed at investigating maternal malaria and its impact on red cell indices of pregnant women in rural Nigeria.
Study Design: Case-control study.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was carried out in rural Cross River State of Nigeria between May and November, 2018.
Methodology: This study was carried out among consenting pregnant women at Akpet central, Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State. A total of three hundred and eighty pregnant women and three hundred and eighty non-pregnant women were enrolled. Blood samples were collected into ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid bottles and plain bottles for analysis of red cell indices by automation and to obtain serum for iron tests respectively. Serum iron and TIBC were analyzed by standard colorimetric methods while serum ferritin was assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. Malaria microcopy was carried out on stained thick and thin blood films.
Results: The red cell indices and iron levels of pregnant women were significantly lower (p≤ 0.05) compared to non-pregnant women. These parameters were also significantly lower (p≤ 0.05) among malaria-infected pregnant women compared to their counterparts who did not have malaria.
Conclusion: Malaria and anaemia remain important health challenges for pregnant women in rural communities of Nigeria.