Prevalence of malaria parasites among blood donors in Kaduna, Nigeria

Douglas D. Garba, Joseph B. Ameh, Clement M. Z. Whong, Maryam Aminu-Mukhtar


Background: Transmission of malaria parasites through blood transfusion is a well-known serious risk. Screening of blood donors for malaria as recommended by WHO is currently not included in the protocols of many Nigerian blood banks. Presence of asymptomatic Plasmodium species carriers (APCs) in some northern parts of the state has already been demonstrated using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and microscopic examination of Giemsa stained blood films. This research was undertaken to determine the prevalence of malaria parasites among blood donors in Kaduna state, Nigeria.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among the blood donors in the three selected Hospitals of Kaduna state. A well-structured questionnaire was used to collect the data regarding demographic profile. Written informed consent was obtained and questionnaire was completed by respondents selected through simple random sampling. 360 blood donors were tested for malaria parasites through microscopic examination of Giemsa stained thick and thin blood films. The data were analysed using Statistical analysis system (SAS) and statistical software for social sciences (SPSS) version 20.

Results: A total of 27 (7.5%) of the blood donors had malaria parasites in their blood. Plasmodium falciparum was the only malaria parasite species encountered. There were no mixed infections and no other blood parasites were observed. The prevalence of malaria parasites in the blood donors was significantly associated with occupation (c2=24.0845, df=6, p= 0.0005) and blood group (c2=10.589, df=4, p= O.032). The infected subjects had parasites densities of between 88-250 parasites/µl with a mean parasite density of 126 parasites/µl of blood.

Conclusions: The prevalence of malaria parasites among blood donors was 7.5% Blood donors should be routinely screened for malaria parasites and the blood marked negative or positive as the case may be. Recipients of malaria parasites positive blood should be given prophylactic treatment to prevent transfusion related malaria (TRM).



Prevalence, Malaria, Parasites, Blood donor, Kaduna state

Full Text:



Joint WHO/UNICEF news release report: Malaria MDG target achieved amid sharp drop in cases and mortality, but 3 billion people remain at risk, 2015. Available at www.who/ int/ mediacentre/ news/ releases/ 2015/ malaria-mdg-target/ en/.

World Health Organization, Geneva: World malaria reports, 2011. Available at http://www.who.intimalaria/ world malaria_ report_2011.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Impact of Malaria, (2015). Available at malaria/malaria_worldwide/ impact.html>.

Federal Republic of Nigeria, national guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of malaria, third edition. federal ministry of health, national malaria and vector control division, Abuja-Nigeria, (2015). Available at http;//

Sutherland CJ, Tanomsing N, Nolder D, Oguike M, Jennison C, Pukrittayakamee S, et al. Two non recombining sympatric forms of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium ovale occur globally, J. Inf. Dis. 2010;201:1544-50.

Patrick RM, Ken SR, Michael AP. Medical Microbiology, fifth edition. Elsevier Mosby, U.S.A. 2005;861.

Ali MSM, YousifKaduru AAM, Mustafa MS. Screening Blood Donors for Malaria Parasite in Sudan. Eth. J. Health Dev. 2004;18(2):70-4.

Mungai M, Tegmejer G, Chamberland M, Parise M. Transfusion-transmitted malaria in the United State from 1963 through 1999. N. Eng. J. Med. 2001;344 (26):1959-2033.

Cheesbrough M. District Laboratory Practice in Tropical Countries Part I, 2nd edition update. Cambridge University Press, UK. 2010:239-58.

Chikwem JO, Mohammed I, Ikara GC, Ukwandu NC, Ola TO. Prevalence of Transmissible Blood Infection among Blood Donors at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital Nigeria. East Afr. Med. J. 1997;24(4): 213-6.

Okocha EC, Ibeh CC, Ele PU, Ibeh NC. The Prevalence of Malaria Parasitaemia in blood donors in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital. J. Vec. Borne Dis. 2005;42:21-4.

Allain JP, Owusu-Ofori S. and Bates I. Blood transfusion in sub-Saharan Africa. Transf. Alt. Transf. Med. 2004;6(1):16-23.

Owusu-Ofori AK, Parry C. and Bates I. Transfusion-Transmitted Malaria in Countries Where Malaria is Endemic: A Review of the Literature from sub-Saharan Africa. Clin. Infect. Dis. 2010;51(10):1192-8.

Encyclopedia Britannica: Kaduna State, Nigeria, 2015, Avaible at place/ Kaduna state-Nigeria.

Garba DD, Jatau ED, Inabo HI, Aminu SA. and Mamman AI. Prevalence of malarial parasitaemia among blood donors in Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna state. Afr. J. Med. Sc. 2009;2 (2):100-3.

Ikeh EI, Okeke FIO. Prevalence of Malaria Parasitaemia in Screened Blood Donors at Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Nigerian J. Health Bio. Sc. 2004;4(2):99-101.

Akinboye DO, Ogunrinade AF. Malaria and loaisis among blood donors at Ibadan, Nigeria. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 1987;81(3):398-9.

Pondei K, Lawani L. and Ndiok E. The Malaria Parasite in Screened Blood in a Tertiary Health Centre in the Malaria-Endemic Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. I (Issn: 2315- 5116). 2012;1(11):188-93.

Okonko IO, Adejuwon OA, Okerentugba PO. and Innocent-Adiele HC. Circulating Plasmodium falciparum and HIV ½ as Co-infections among Blood Donors in Ibadan, Southwestern Nigeria. Nature and Sciences. 2012;10(9):42-7.

Otajevwo FD. Prevalence of Malaria Parasitaemia and Its Association with ABO Blood Grouping among Students of Igbinedion University Okada, Nigeria. British J. Med. Med. Res. 2013;3(4):1164-77.

Chigozie JU, Ogbonnaya O. and Vincent N. Potential Risk of Induced Malaria by Blood Transfusion in South-Eastern Nigeria. McGill J. Med. 2006;9:8-13.

Aina OO, Agomo CO, Olukosi YA, Okoh HI, Iwalokun BA. and Egbuna KN. “Malariometric survey of Ibeshe community in Ikorodu, Lagos state: dry season”, 2013. Mal. Res. Treat. Available at 10.1155/ 2013/487250.

Alli JA, Okonko, IO, Abraham OA, Kolade AF. and Ogunjobi PN. A survey of Blood Parasites (Plasmodium, Microfilaria, HIV, HBsAG, HCV) antibodies in Prospective Nigerian Blood Donors. Res. J. Med. Sc. 2010;4(4):255-75.

Kayode OI, Taiwo AA, Bashirat I, Ramatu IA. Epidemiology of malaria in relation to climatic variables in Minna, Nigeria. Afr. J. Med. Sc. 2009;2(1):5-10.

Umaru ML, Uyaiabasi GN. "Prevalence of Malaria in Patients Attending the General Hospital Makarfi, Makarfi Kaduna – State, North-Western Nigeria." Am. J. Infectious Dis. Microbiol. 2015;3(1):1-5.

Inabo HI, Umaru BZ. Studies on the Incidence of Asymptomatic Plasmodium Infection among Apparently Healthy Subjects in Orphanages in Kaduna and Zaria, Nigeria. Bayero J. P. App. Sci. 2011;4(2):83-6.

Oche AO, Aminu M. The prevalence of Malarial parasitaemia among blood donors in Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria, Nigeria. Niger J. Med. 2012;21(4):445-9.

Udeze AO, Nwokocha EJ, Okerentugba PO, Anabinjuwon II, and Okonko IO. Asymptomatic Plasmodium Parasitaemia in Ilorin, North Central Nigeria. Nature and Science. 2013;11(10):24-8.

World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland. World Health Report, 2004. Available at: whr/ 2004/en/.

Lampietti J. Gender and preferences for malaria prevention in Tigray, Ethiopia. Policy and Research Report on Gender and Development. The World Bank Development Research Group/Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network 1999:3.

Ndawala J, Kalanda G, Maly M. Malawi MDHS Data Analysis. Malawi National Statistics Office, 2000. Available at

Shulman CE, Marshall T, Dorman EK. Malaria in pregnancy: adverse effects on haemoglobin levels and birth weight in primigraviae amd multigravidae. Trop. Med. Int. Health. 2001;6:770-8.

Godana IM. The Impact of Nutrition and Body Mass Index on Malaria in Rural Western Kenya, 2012. Available at 2104/ 8400.

Nacher M, Singhasivanon P, Vannaphan S, Treeprasertsuk S, Phanumaphorn M, Traore B, et al. Socio-economic and environmental protective/risk factors for severe malaria in Thailand. Acta Trop. 2001;78(2):139-46.

Friedman JF, Kurtis JD, Mtalib R, Opollo M, Lanar DE, Duffy PE. Malaria is Related to Decreased Nutritional Status among Msale Adolescents and Adults in the Setting of Intense Perennial Transmission. J. Infect. Dis. 2003;188:449-57.

Cross C. "Plasmodium falciparum Malaria," 2015. Available at doc_WTD023865.html>.

Rowland M, Hewitt S, Durrani N. Transmission and control of vivax malaria in Afghan refugee villages in Pakistan. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 1997;91; 252-5.

Renne EP, Kirby K, Akkineni R. Bed net use and malaria knowledge in Zaria City, Nigeria. J. Int. Inst. 2008;15:5.

Guillet P, Alnwick D, Cham, MK, Neira M, Zaim M. and Heymann D. Long- lasting treated nets: a breakthrough in malaria prevention. Bull. World Health Org. 2001;79:983-8.

Udonsangpetch R, Todd J, Carlon J, GreenWood BM. The effects of Haemoglobin genotype and ABO blood group on the formation of rosettes by Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 1993;48:149-53.