Prevalence of Malaria in pregnancy in Kaoma District
Simulyamana, Choonga Aspha
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The study to determine the prevalence of malaria in pregnancy, its associated factors, and its pattern of distribution (geographical) was carried out in thirteen (13) health facilities of Kaoma district, the largest of the seven districts in the Western province of Zambia.The district had approximately 8,362 pregnancies in the year 2009 (CSO, 2000).405 pregnant women attending antenatal care (both static and outreach stations) in the district consented/assented to the study and were enrolled.The study was cross–sectional and comprised interviews with semi-structured interview schedules, focus group discussions, and testing for malaria with Rapid Diagnostic Tests.404 participants were interviewed representing a response rate of 99.8%, and 382 were tested for malaria with RDTs representing a testing rate of 94.5%.Forty six (46) participants had positive RDT result representing a proportion of 12%. Data entry was done with EpiData. Quantitative data was analyzed with SPSS 17.0 while content analysis was used in the analysis of qualitative data. The confidence level was set at 95%, and a result yielding a P value of 5% or less was considered to be statistically significant. The Chi- Square test was used to test for associations.The study found that the prevalence of malaria in pregnancy is 12% and significantly associated with catchment area (Zone) where women resided and were attending antenatal care services. Gestation age, previous episode of malaria in pregnancy in the current pregnancy, diagnostic method used and type of treatment given in the previous episode of malaria in pregnancy were the other factors that were found to be significantly associated with malaria in pregnancy.In the study maternal age and number of pregnancies were found not to be significantly associated with malaria in pregnancy.The study found that 62.3% of participants had at least one ITN in their households and 55% had slept in an ITN the night before the interview.32.2% of the participants had their houses sprayed (IRS) and 59.3%% of the participants had at least received a single dose of IPT.The coverages of these interventions among the participants were therefore below the national targets of 80% among the participants.The prevalence of malaria in pregnancy was high and hence the need to strengthen the implementation of malaria control programs in the district.