Vitamin A Supplementation as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Childhood Malaria: Effect on Hematological Indices
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Nwoye, E. O.
Oreagba, I. A.
Temiye, E. O.
Olayemi, S. O.
Adejare, A. A.
Ojobor, P. D.
The Nigerian Medical Practitioner
Vitamin A supplementation to preschool children known to decrease the risks of mortality and morbidity from some forms of diseases such as diarrhea, measles, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. These effects are likely to be the result of the actions of vitamin A on immunity. Therefore the role of Vitamin A supplementation in treatment of mild to moderate falciparum malaria in Nigerian children was investigated using haematological parameters as outcome indices. Eighty four (84) children between the ages of 6months and 12 years with fever and a positive Malaria Parasite result using Rapid Diagnostic Test were randomized and divided into two groups. Fifty four (54) patients received vitamin A supplementation in addition to a completeregimen of Artemether/lumefantrine given to both groups. Clinical and laboratory parameters (Malaria Parasite Density, WBC and PCV) were measured on day 0, 3, and 28. On the third day, both groups of patients were found to have complete Malaria Parasite clearance irrespective of Vitamin A supplementation. Vitamin A supplementation significantly increased mean White blood cell count (WBC) from 23.44 ± 10.57 % to 28.60 ± 8.62 % (p<0.05); it also increased mean White blood cell count (WBC) from 7080.00 ± 693.56cells/mm3 to 8711.11 ± 629.78cells/mm3 however this was not statistically significant (p>0.05). After treatment (on day 28) the mean PCV and WBC were significantly increased in both groups of patients (p<0.5). At baseline there was a significant (r=0.56) linear relationship between Malaria parasite density (MPD) and WBC while patients PCV showed no significant (r=0.41) linear relationship with MPD. Vitamin A plays a significant role as supplementation in the treatment of mild to moderate malaria by improving PCV and WBC laboratory indices: However (more comprehensive monitoring of Malaria Parasite Density within the first 48 hours of commencement of treatment is suggested
Nwoye, E.O (2016). Vitamin A Supplementation as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Childhood Malaria: Effect on Hematological Indices. The Nigerian Medical Practitioner, Vol.69 (3)