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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1996 May-Jun;90(3):262-5.

Changes in weight gain and anaemia attributable to malaria in Tanzanian children living under holoendemic conditions.

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School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


We investigated the effect of Plasmodium falciparum malaria on weight gain and haematocrit in Tanzanian children aged 6-40 months following a malaria control scheme which combined insecticide-impregnated bed nets with chloroquine chemotherapy on demand. Data from 7 villages (3 intervention and 4 control) were collected before, and one year after, the implementation of the programme. Initially, 82% of the children were parasitaemic, 78% were anaemic (i.e., packed cell volume < 33%) and 38% were underweight (i.e., 2 standard deviations below their weight-for-age Z score). One year after implementation of the programme, children not protected by the bed nets grew 286 g less (95% confidence interval [CI] 171-402 g) in a 5 months period and were twice as likely to be anaemic (95% CI 1.4-2.7) than were children not using impregnated bed nets. Our results indicated that, under holoendemic conditions, P. falciparum infection has a marked effect on both weight gain and anaemia.

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