Malaria affects more than 90 countries in the tropical and subtropical region in which more than half of the cases are present in Sub-Saharan Africa. Assessing its geographical and temporal prevalence is necessary to implement effective control measures. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine a three-year prevalence of malaria from peripheral blood smear examination. A retrospective study was carried out in Nakfa Hospital, northern Eritrea, using data recorded from September 2016 to August 2019. All demographic details of subjects and positive malaria case note were obtained from patient admission and laboratory registers. The overall prevalence of smear positive malaria cases was 33.0%. Males (58.19%) were more prone to have a positive malaria smear than females (41.8%). A higher prevalence of malaria was observed in the adult age group (35%) compared with children under 5 years old children (27%). The highest prevalence of malaria cases was found in the year 2016 (48.8%) and 2017 (41%). High slide positive rate was also observed in summer (40%) and autumn (39.52%). Months of July (45%) and September (40.6%) were noted to have the maximum number of cases. Plasmodium vivax constituted the most predominant malaria infections (78.06%), while Plasmodium falciparum was also present (21.26 %). Almost around 70% of cases were reported from patients living in and at the peripheries of Nakfa town. Marked reduction trends were observed in morbidity related to malaria throughout the study years. However, vigilant surveillance is required especially during malaria transmission peaks from July to October which also overlap with harvesting seasons.
Keywords: Plasmodium, Anopheles, Falciparum, Vivax