Background: Malaria remains one of the major contributors of child mortality in many developing countries in Africa. Identifying its determinants will help prevention and prompt intervention in these settings. Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted over an eight-month period on 382 children who presented with fever to the children outpatient and emergency units of a tertiary hospital in South-east Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on socio-demographic factors. Blood film microscopy for malaria and parasite density was done on all subjects that tested positive for malaria. Result: The malaria prevalence rate was 16.7%, 26.7%, 29.9% and 46.2% in children <5 years, 5 to < 10 years, 10 to < 15 years and 15-17 years respectively. Logistic regression analysis showed that malaria was more prevalent in older children but children under the age of 5 years were more prone to higher parasite density. Also, children of mother with lower educational attainment, children from families of lower socio-economic class and resident in rural settings had higher likelihood of getting malaria infection. Conclusion: Sustained improvement in strategies to prevent malaria infection is still very imperative in children of all ages, especially the under-fives who are prone to severe forms, children of mothers with low educational attainment, from families of low socio-economic class and residents in rural communities.
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