Knowledge, attitude, perception of malaria and evaluation of malaria parasitaemia among pregnant women attending antenatal care clinic in metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria.
BACKGROUND Malaria is a major contributor of maternal and peri-natal morbidity and mortality. The disease may be asymptomatic despite sequestration of parasitized red blood cells in the placental micro-circulation with antecedent complications. In such condition, it may also be difficult to identify the malaria parasite by the peripheral blood film microscopy, thus the need for use of simple but reliable tool for malaria parasite diagnosis. OBJECTIVE AND METHOD To determine the prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia using the Rapid Diagnostic Test in pregnant unbooked women seen in a primary health centre during a malaria control campaign programme in rural Ondo-south, District Nigeria. RESULTS Prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia was 25.9%. Only 3 (3.5%) of the 85 women had the long lasting insecticide-treated nets. There was no significant association between malaria parasitaemia, and the age group, parity and gestation age. CONCLUSION Given the high prevalence of asymptomatic malaria in pregnancy, routine screening for malaria at booking and scaling-up of other malaria control strategies such as the use of long lasting insecticidal-treated nets and intermittent preventive therapy for pregnant women are recommended.