Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 616

Full Length Research Paper

Parasitic infections and anaemia during pregnancy in the Kassena-Nankana district of Northern Ghana

Godwin Fuseini¹*, Dominic Edoh², Bugre Gumah Kalifa³, Abdul-Wahab Hamid³ and Dave Knight 4
1International SOS, Ahafo Clinic, Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd, Kenyasi-BA, Ghana. 2University of Ghana, Ghana. 3Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana. 4International SOS and University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 April 2010
  •  Published: 30 June 2010

Abstract

Anaemia is often an adverse outcome of severe parasitic infections during pregnancy in developing countries. This study examined the association between anaemia and Plasmodium and or intestinal helminth infections during pregnancy. A hospital based survey was conducted on 300 pregnant women on their first consultation to antenatal services in the Kassena-Nankana district of Northern Ghana from August-November 2005. Stool specimens were examined by the concentration method whilst the blood specimens were examined microscopically. One in four women were found to be infected with one or two of the following helminths: Schistosoma mansoni (12.3%), hookworm (7.0%), Strongyloides stercoralis (2.3%), Ascaris lumbricoides (0.7%) and Trichostrongylus (0.7%). More than half of the women were found with the Plasmodium parasite (58%). Whilst the mean haemoglobin of mothers without any parasite was within the normal range, mothers with co-infections on the other hand, were within the moderately anaemic range. Whereas, Plasmodium and S. mansoni infections alone cause mild anaemia, hookworm infections alone cause moderate anaemia. However, the anaemia caused by these parasites on a whole, are not severe (Hb < 7.0 g/dl). An integrated programme for the control of these parasites is recommended in order to reduce the degree of anaemia during pregnancies.

 

Key words: Anaemia, parasitic infection, pregnancy, Northern Ghana.