Background: The worldwide burden of pregnancy associated malaria is largely underestimated. Objective: In this study, we assessed the incidence and severity of malarial anemia, and associated risk factors among pregnant women in Mangaluru, a city in India. Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study involving 105 pregnant women, including controls, was conducted at Government Lady Goschen Hospital, Mangaluru. The socio-demographic and hematological data were analysed to determine the prevalence of malarial anemia among pregnant women. Results: Of the 105 pregnant women, 71 were infected with malaria of which (48, 67.6%)had P. vivax, (13, 18.3%)P. falciparum and (10, 14.1%)mixed infections. Among those infected, 87.3% were anemic, in which 11.3% had severe anemia. Notably, malarial infection was higher among primigravidae (40.6%)women and they delivered low birth weight babies. Lack of knowledge about preventive measures and lack of awareness concerning antenatal care services, especially among rural women, were major determinants of pregnancy associated malaria. Conclusions: We conclude that there is an urgent need to strengthen the malaria surveillance measures and antenatal care services, and create awareness about pregnancy associated malaria. Further, increasing the number of rural health centers, establishing community outreach programs, distribution of bed nets, and early diagnosis and treatment, could reduce the pregnancy associated malaria burden in Mangaluru.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Informatics