WARNING: Malaria Causes Severe Anaemia In Children
A recent study has shown that malaria could cause severe anaemia in 80% of patients affected by the disease.
It also reveled that five-year-old children are most affected by anaemia; described as a circumstance of not having enough haemoglobin in the blood or having fewer red blood cells than normal.
Professor Kolade Ernest of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Ilorin, said that studies showed that children of that age constituted 85.8% of all children with severe anaemia cases.
Ernest made the disclosure on Wednesday in his paper presentation at the 171st Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ilorin, Ilorin.
His lecture was entitled: “…And the child died, oh! no! not again: Adventures in childhood morbidity prevention and mortality reduction”.
The Paediatrician explained that during his research, an audit was carried out in the Emergency Pediatric Unit admissions, to evaluate those with severe anaemia at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH).
According to him, 80% from 5,790 patients with malaria at the UITH had severe anaemia.
“The risk of death from severe anaemia increased exponentially if transfusion was delayed beyond 2 hours of presentation,” he said.
He observed that children with severe malaria, as identified by World Health Organisation (WHO), were at risk of death and had symptoms, which include impaired consciousness.
Other symptoms are multiple convulsion, renal impairment, jaundice, significance bleeding, shock and hyperparasitaemia.
To remedy the situation the Paediatrician highlighted the need for researchers to come up with malaria vaccines.
Ernest appealed to the Nigerian government for adequate funding of Primary Health Care Centres to reduce the burden of diseases such as malaria with propensity to kill children.
The Paediatrican also wants further investment on vaccines and immunisations on children killer diseases in Nigeria.