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Original Article

Sudan J Paed. 2021; 21(2): 173-181

Impact of climatic variables on childhood severe malaria in a tertiary health facility in northern Nigeria

Olayinka Rasheed Ibrahim, Abubakar Sani Lugga, Nuraddeen Ibrahim, Olajide Aladesua, Lawal Magaji Ibrahim, Bello Abdullahi Suleiman, Bello Muhammed Suleiman.


Introduction: Despite the recent progress in the malaria burden, climatic factors are important if the world will achieve the set target of its eradication. Hence, this study determined the impact of climatic conditions on childhood severe malaria in a tertiary health facility in northern Nigeria.
Methodology: This was a retrospective descriptive study that involved children with severe malaria managed between July 2016 and August 2017. The diagnosis of severe malaria was according to the World Health Organization 2015 guidelines. We extracted relevant data from case records and obtained the weather information from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency and www. worldweatheronline.com. Data were entered in Microsoft Excel 2013 and analyzed with Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 20.
Results: A total of 483 cases of children with severe malaria were managed. The median age was 4.0 (2.5-8.0) years. Males were 261 (54.0%). In the wet season, 375 (77.6%) cases were recorded, while 108 (22.4%) cases occurred during the dry season. The odds of malaria
occurring during the wet season were 2.057 (95% CI, 1.613-2.622). Temperature patterns were not related to malaria cases. Malaria cases showed significant moderate positive cross-correlation at 2- and 3-months lag for the rainfall pattern (best cross-correlation occurred at 3 months lag with a coefficient of 0.598, p = 0.045).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated marked seasonality of childhood severe malaria infection with 77% of cases during the wet season. Malaria was associated with only rainfall at a 2 to 3 months lag amongst the climatic variables. We recommend the urgent implementation of seasonal malaria chemoprophylaxis.

Key words: Child; Severe malaria; Rainfall; Temperature patterns; Nigeria.

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