Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Asymptomatic only at first sight: malaria infection among schoolchildren in highland Rwanda (2016)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Sifft, Kevin C
    Geus, Dominik
    Mukampunga, Caritas
    Mugisha, Jean Claude
    Habarugira, Felix
    Fraundorfer, Kira
    Bayingana, Claude
    Ndoli, Jules
    Umulisa, Irenee
    Karema, Corine
    von Samson-Himmelstjerna, George (WE 13)
    Aebischer, Toni
    Martus, Peter
    Sendegeya, Augustin
    Gahutu, Jean Bosco
    Mockenhaupt, Frank P
    Malaria Journal; 15(1) — S. 553
    ISSN: 1475-2875
    DOI: 10.1186/s12936-016-1606-x
    Pubmed: 27842542
    Institut für Parasitologie und Tropenveterinärmedizin

    Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 7-13
    Gebäude 35, 22, 23
    14163 Berlin
    +49 30 838 62310

    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Plasmodium infection and malaria in school children are increasingly recognized as a relevant public health problem, but data on actual prevalence and health consequences are insufficient. The present study from highland southern Rwanda aimed at estimating infection prevalence among children attending school, at identifying associated factors and at assessing the clinical consequences of these infections.

    In a survey including 12 schools in the Huye district of Rwanda, 1089 children aged 6-10 years were clinically and anthropometrically examined, malaria parasites were diagnosed by microscopy and PCR, haemoglobin concentrations were measured, and socio-economic and behavioural parameters as well as medical histories were obtained.

    Upon examination, the vast majority of children was asymptomatic (fever 2.7%). Plasmodium infection was detected in 22.4% (Plasmodium falciparum, 18.8%); 41% of these were submicroscopic. Independent predictors of infection included low altitude, higher age, preceding antimalarial treatment, and absence of electricity or a bicycle in the household. Plasmodium infection was associated with anaemia (mean haemoglobin difference of -1.2 g/dL; 95% CI, -0.8 to -1.5 g/dL), fever, underweight, clinically assessed malnutrition and histories of fever, tiredness, weakness, poor appetite, abdominal pain, and vomiting. With the exception of underweight, these conditions were also increased at submicroscopic infection.

    Malaria infection is frequent among children attending school in southern highland Rwanda. Although seemingly asymptomatic in the vast majority of cases, infection is associated with a number of non-specific symptoms in the children´s histories, in addition to the impact on anaemia. This argues for improved malaria surveillance and control activities among school children.