Asymptomatic Malaria Infection and Associated Factors among Blood Donors Attending Arba Minch Blood Bank, Southwest Ethiopia

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Getaneh Alemu
Mohammedaman Mama


BACKGROUND: It is well known that malaria can be transmittedvia blood transfusion. However, it is not documented in thenational donor screening protocol. Magnitude of asymptomaticmalaria among donors would be the key to decide on the need ofdonor screening. Despite this, there is lack of such data inEthiopia. The aim of this study was thus to estimate the prevalenceof asymptomatic malaria and associated factors among blooddonors.METHODS: An institution basedcross-sectional study wasconducted in Arba Minch blood bank from February to June,2015. Data was collected from donors who passed the clinicaldonor selection criteria and recruited by systematic randomsampling technique. A structured questionnaire was used tocapture data on socio-demographic characteristics. Giemsa stainedblood films were examined for plasmodium parasites. Magnitude ofasymptomatic malaria was calculated and association of factorswith malaria was assessed by multivariable logistic regressionsusing SPSS version 20.0.RESULTS: A total of 416 donors participated in the study. Theproportion of infected donors was 4.1% (17/416). Eight donorswere infected with Plasmodium falciparum while 9 donors wereinfected with Plasmodium vivax. Most positive blood films (13/17)were with parasite loads ranging from 100 - 500 parasites/μl.Donors with blood group O were more susceptible to malariaparasitemia compared to all other ABO blood groups together(AOR=6.899, 95%CI=1.951-24.391, p=0.003).CONCLUSION: Magnitude of malaria parasitemia in the presentstudy was high as compared to the national malaria prevalence.Hence, in malaria endemic areas of Ethiopia, blood should bescreened before donation.

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Author Biographies

Getaneh Alemu, Arba Minch University, ArbaMinch, Ethiopia

Department of Medical Laboratory Science

Mohammedaman Mama, Arba Minch University, ArbaMinch, Ethiopia

Department of Medical Laboratory Science