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Cent Afr J Med. 1996 Sep;42(9):265-8.

Malaria infection of the cord and birthweights in Nigerians.

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Department of Zoology, University of Jos, Nigeria.



To establish the prevalence of cord malaria parasitaemia in Nigerians and to elucidate its effect on birthweight.


Case series.


1,905 women resident in three parts of Nigeria.


University of Jos Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Bauchi Specialist Hospital and Eku Baptist Hospital, Eku Delta State.


21.6 pc (405) were infected with Plasmodium falciparum. The prevalences by residence were 21.8 pc in Bauchi, 23.2 pc in Jos and 17.5 pc in Eku. The cord malaria prevalence was significantly higher among newborns of first pregnancies than those of two or more pregnancies. Although no significant seasonal fluctuation in mean birthweights was found, the mean for the August to October quarter were the lowest in the three study sites. The mean birthweights of newborns with parasitized cords were generally lower than those that were not parasitized. Birthweights of infected cords also decreased with increasing parasite densities. Of the newborns 215 (11.2 pc) weighed < or = 500 g, of which 202 (10.5 pc) had cord malaria.


There is a need for more efficient malaria chemoprophylaxis regime during antenatal care in public hospitals to effectively manage malaria in pregnancy and reduce the incidence of low birthweight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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