Burden, clinical manifestation and outcome of severe malaria in children at a tertiary hospital in Northeast, Nigeria


  • Jalo I. Department of Pediatrics, College of Medical Sciences, Gombe State University, Gombe, Nigeria
  • Isaac E. Warnow Department of Pediatrics, College of Medical Sciences, Gombe State University, Gombe, Nigeria
  • Aliu R. Department of Pediatrics, College of Medical Sciences, Gombe State University, Gombe, Nigeria
  • Hassan K. Shina Department of Pediatrics, Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, Nigeria




Children, Manifestation, Outcome, Severe malaria


Background: Severe malaria is a life-threatening medical emergency and requires prompt and effective treatment to prevent death. The presentation of severe malaria varies depending on such factors as country, age, immunity, socioeconomic factors, drug resistance and type of intervention measures used. The aim of this study is to document the burden and forms of severe malaria in children in this region. Objective of this study was to determine the prevalence, clinical manifestation and outcome of children with severe malaria in Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe

Methods: Case notes of patients admitted to the emergency Paediatric Unit and paediatric medical ward of Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe with severe malaria from January 2014 to December 2018 (5years) were reviewed.  Information sought included age, gender, use of ITN, parents’ education and occupation, criteria for diagnosis, treatment and outcome.

Results: A total of 2,808 children were admitted during the period of study, out of these 237 (8.4%) had severe malaria. There were 140 (59.1%) male and 97 (40.9%) female with M: F of 1.4:1. Majority 129 (54.4%) of patients were aged more than 5 years. The most frequent modes of presentation were multiple convulsions 124 (52.3%), cerebral malaria 97 (40.9%) and severe anaemia 61 (25.7%). Some 45 (19.0%) of the subjects presented with multiple diagnostic criteria. Multiple convulsions, cerebral malaria and severe anaemia were significantly related to likelihood of mortality.

Conclusions: The prevalence of severe malaria is high and multiple convulsions, cerebral malaria and severe anaemia are significantly associated with risk of mortality.


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