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Acta Trop. 1995 Mar;59(1):55-64.

Anaemia and Plasmodium falciparum infections among young children in an holoendemic area, Bagamoyo, Tanzania.

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  • 1Bagamoyo Bed Net Project, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


Although the aetiology of anaemia in tropical areas is multifactorial, Plasmodium falciparum malaria is commonly associated with anaemia in children living in holoendemic malaria areas. Such an association was examined in a population based study of 338 children 6 to 40 months of age living in the Bagamoyo area of Tanzania. Stepwise regression analysis showed that fever and parasitaemia were effective in predicting anaemia and that the anaemic condition was age dependent. The majority of the children were iron deficient, followed by normochromic macrocytic anaemias. There was strong evidence in this age group that the anaemia was associated with malaria and not geohelminth infection. The importance of malaria and anaemia as a cause of childhood morbidity in Africa is discussed. This condition has taken on new significance with the realization that blood transfusions commonly used to treat severe anaemia are a major vehicle for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) transmission.

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