Osue*, H. O., Inabo, H. ., Yakubu, S.E., Audu, P. A. and Musa, D.
A spot survey to screen for malaria infection in two agrarian villages with an estimated population of 470 persons was undertaken. The two villages were enlisted in 1994 into the ongoing annual ivermectin (Mectizan®) mass distribution programme. Among the 73 volunteers screened, 15 (20.55%) with confidence interval (CI) of 9-24 (13-29%) were seropositive in the First Response® Malaria Antigen Plasmodium falciparum (HRP2) immunochromatographic card test (ICT). The microscopy of stained thin blood films showed 14 (19.2%) positive cases with CI of 8-22 (12-28%). The concordance between the two tests was 93.3%. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) for the sample population was 2.9±1.1mm. There was a significant difference in PCV and ESR of the infected (n=15), 31.7±4.8 and 4.5±1mm compared to the uninfected (n=58), 37.2±6.8 and 2.5±0.6mm (P<0.05). The significant differences in quotients of participants PCV over ESR was capable of discriminating those that had malaria infection with low values from non-infected with higher values (P<0.05). The P. falciparum was chronic and asymptomatic infections in the study population (n=470). None of those infected showed any clinical evidence of infection. Malaria may be a cofactor that can reduce man-hour and productive capacity of farmers in these two villages. Absence of primary health care facilities could entrench treatments without medical supervision. Apparent drug abuse and under-dosage could lead to the development of drug resistance malaria in the study area. Control of malaria can take advantage of this ICT rapid screening kit. Importance of developing synergy between community-directed treatment of onchocerciasis and on-going Roll Back Malaria Programme to control and eradicate the disease was discussed.
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