Impact of intestinal parasite/malaria co-infection on haemoglobin in patients of Melong and Denzo health facilities, Littoral region,Cameroon
Objective: To assess the impact of intestinal parasite/malaria coinfection on haemoglobin in patients of Melong and Denzo health facilities, Littoral region, Cameroon.
Materials and methods: This study took place from November2019-March 2020. Blood samples were collected from patients after informed consent by finger pricking. Stool samples were examined using normal saline and the Kato-Katz technique for the presence and intensity of IPs. Thick blood films were prepared, Giemsa-stained and examined under x100 to detect the presence of parasites and estimate GMPD. Hb values were determined using a haemoglobinometer. Data was analysed using SPSS version 23 and the significance level was set at P<0.05.
Results: The overall prevalence of IP was 28.3% (113/400).Entamoeba histolytica was the most prevalent IP 22.0% (88/400) while Taenia spp 0.3% (1/400) and Trichuris trichiura 0.3% (1/400) recorded the lowest prevalences. E. histolytica was significantly more in Melong (27.7%, 76/274) than in Denzo (9.5%, 12/126), (P=0.001). Ascaris lumbricoides was significantly more in Denzo (10.3%, 13/126) than in Melong (0.3%, 1/274), P=0.001. Trichomonas hominis was the only parasite which was significantly different (p=0.009) between age groups. The overall prevalence of malaria was 66.5% (266/400). The prevalence of malaria was higher in Denzo (79.3%, 100/126) than in Melong (60.5, 166/274), P=0.001. Children ≤ 5 years recorded the highest (75.4%, 83/110) prevalence of malaria, and the difference between age groups was significant, p=0.016. The overall prevalence of co-infection and anaemia were 16.3% (65/400) and 58.8% (235/400), respectively. Higher prevalence (20.6%, 37/180) of intestinal parasites/malaria was seen in anaemic patients than in non-anemic (12.7%, 28/220) p=0.035.
Conclusion: Malaria was a strong predictor of anemia and the malaria intensity was highly correlated with anemia in patients from Melong and Denzo localities. Interventions targeting groups at risk will help reduce morbidity and mortality caused by these diseases in Melong and Denzo localities.