PREVALENCE OF HYPOGLYCAEMIA AMONG Plasmodium falciparum INFECTED WOMEN ATTENDING ANTENATAL CLINICS IN NSUKKA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
Hypoglycaemia prevalence among Plasmodium falciparum infected women attending antenatal clinics in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria was undertaken. The study objective was to assess the prevalence of hypoglycaemia and P. falciparum infection among pregnant women in the study area. A cross-sectional epidemiological survey was conducted among the pregnant women, who attended antenatal clinics in the study Local Government Area between January and September, 2015. A total of 375 randomly selected pregnant women were assessed for P. falciparum infection and hypoglycaemia from the development centres in the study area. Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection was determined using Malaria Pf antigen detection kit. The blood glucose levels of the subjects were estimated using One Touch UltraSmart Blood Glucose Monitoring System. The obstetric, demographic, clinical and management data of the pregnant women were also determined using a well-structured questionnaire. Results obtained showed that 292 (77.9%) pregnant women had primary diagnosis of P. falciparum infection and 39 (13.4%) of the infected pregnant women were hypoglycaemic. The highest prevalence for P. falciparum was observed among age group 30-34 years old, primigravidae and second trimester pregnancy. Generally, prevalence of hypoglycaemic infected subjects showed significant difference (P<0.05) when compared with their non-inpfected counterpart. The study showed no significant correlation between hypoglycaemia and positive infection status; rather hypoglycaemia occurrence was associated with markers of impaired quality of life and disruption in the maintenance of glucose supply. However, considering the endemicity of malaria in Nigeria, the mortality rate across families, and the severity of malaria infection in pregnancy, early detection and prompt treatment of malaria, especially among pregnant women with hypoglycaemia are needed. In conclusion, glucose metabolism during malaria infection is multifactorial. Therefore, recognition of hypoglycaemia risk factors, blood glucose monitoring, selection of appropriate regimens, education programs for health care professionals and at risk patients are the major issues for maintaining good glycemic control, minimize the risk of hypoglycaemia, and prevent long-term complications. The present study recommends that simple, rapid and reliable laboratory tests at health centres be readily available to help in diagnosis, prevention and management of hypoglycaemia complications.