Prof. Kolade Ernest of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Ilorin, said that studies has shown that malaria causes severe anaemia in 80 per cent of patients.
Ernest made the disclosure on Wednesday in his paper presentation at the 171st Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ilorin, Ilorin.
His lecture was entitled: “…And the child died, oh! no! not again: Adventures in childhood morbidity prevention and mortality reduction”.
The Paediatrician, a lecturer at the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, said five years old children were the most affected as they constitute 85.8 per cent of all children with severe anaemia.
He explained that during his research, an audit was carried out in the Emergency Paediatiec Unit admissions, to evaluate those with severe anaemia at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH).
According to him, 80 per cent from 5,790 patients with malaria at the UITH had severe anaemia.
“The risk of death from severe anaemia increased exponentially if transfusion was delayed beyond two hours of presentation,” he said.
He observed that children with severe malaria, as identified by World Health Organisation (WHO) are at risk of death and have symptoms, which includes impaired consciousness.
Others, he said, include multiple convulsion, renal impairment, jaundice, significance bleeding, shock and hyperparasitaemia.
He pointed out that for many years malaria has been devastating and killing millions, adding that it is high time researchers come up with malaria vaccines.
Ernest appealed to the Federal Government for adequate funding of Primary Health Care to reduce burden of diseases such as malaria with propensity to kill children.
The Paediatrican also wants further investment on vaccines and immunisations on children killer diseases in the country.