Prevalence, Associated Factors and Treatment Outcomes of Laboratory-confirmed Pregnancy Malaria at Antenatal Care in Three Healthcare Facilities of Douala, Cameroon

Thomas Kuete *

Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical sciences, The University of Douala, Cameroon.

Henri Essome

Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical sciences, The University of Douala, Cameroon and Laquintinie Hospital of Douala, Cameroon.

Larissa Boukam Moche

Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical sciences, The University of Douala, Cameroon.

Nadège Anabianina

Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical sciences, The University of Douala, Cameroon and Bonassama District Hospital, Cameroon.

Christiane Keddy Mangamba

Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical sciences, The University of Douala, Cameroon and Gyneco-Obstetric Hospital of Douala, Cameroon.

Albert Same Ekobo

Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical sciences, The University of Douala, Cameroon.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Pregnancy malaria is a life-threatening condition to the mother, the fetus and the newborn. Since the implementation of the World Health Organization’s recommendations of specific malaria control strategies to pregnant women in malaria endemic countries, evaluation studies are needed to assess the prevalence of malaria in pregnancy. This cross-sectional prospective study was therefore set to determine the prevalence and associated factors as well as the treatment outcomes of Plasmodium infection among pregnant women attending antenatal care in three hospitals of Douala in Cameroon.

Each volunteered pregnant woman received for antenatal care was questioned according to the study questionnaire to collect sociodemographic data, use of malaria prevention tools and pregnancy history. Then a laboratory test was carried for Plasmodium detection in the peripheral blood using microscopy and a HRP2-based rapid diagnostic test. Plasmodium carrying pregnant women were treated according to the national malaria program scheme followed by post-treatment follow-up. Data were processed and analyzed using SPSS.20 software. Association of Plasmodium infection with risk factors was analyzed as univariate using Pearson Chi-square and Fisher Exact tests considering a P-value < 0.05 as statistically significant.

A total of 487 pregnant women aged between 18 years and 42 years were included in the study. The prevalence of Plasmodium infection was 3.5% and 4.3% by malaria rapid diagnostic test and microscopy respectively. Only Plasmodium falciparum asexual stage was detected. Parasite loads were low.  Factors associated with Plasmodium falciparum higher prevalence were being less than 21 years old (0.02), not sleeping under mosquitoe net daily (p=0.04) and having fever during the pregnancy (p=0.04). Parenteral treatment with either artesunate, artemether or quinine sulfate showed good efficacy.

Conclusion: Pregnant women attending the antenatal cares harbored low Plasmodium infection prevalence and loads. Being of young age, not sleeping under mosquitoe bednet daily and having fever during the pregnancy were predictive Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodium infected pregnant women were successfully treated with antimalarial medications recommended by the national Ministry of Public Health. The authors recommend increasing efforts by health authorities to strengthen malaria prevention in pregnant women through more adherence to sleeping under ITNs daily and taking IPT-sp as well as systematic detection of Plasmodium infection at each antenatal visit.

Keywords: antimalarial treatment, factors, Plasmodium falciparum, pregnancy, Cameroon

How to Cite

Kuete, T., Essome, H., Moche, L. B., Anabianina, N., Mangamba, C. K., & Ekobo, A. S. (2024). Prevalence, Associated Factors and Treatment Outcomes of Laboratory-confirmed Pregnancy Malaria at Antenatal Care in Three Healthcare Facilities of Douala, Cameroon. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, 45(6), 105–116.


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