1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Malaria remains one of the most serious global health problems. There are an estimated one million deaths each year, with nearly seventy five percent (75%) occurring in children living in sub-Saharan Africa.
The history of malaria stretches from its prehistoric origin as a zoometric disease in the primates of Akwa-ibom through to the twenty first (21st) Century. The name malaria was derived from two Latin words “mal” “aria”; where “Mal” means bad and “aria” Air. It is due to the mistaken belief that it was caused by bad air, following the observation that it occurs mostly around damp places and marsh areas.
Malaria is a tropical disease caused by a parasitic called plasmodium falciparum carried by infected female anopheles mosquito and the disease causes periods of fever and shivering. Malaria can also be a disease caused by a parasite transmitted from person to person by certain types of mosquito. They feed on human body (anopheles mosquito). It uses its mouth called the proboscis to suck the blood of a person and deposits plasmodium on the person’s blood vessels. This plasmodium travel to the liver of a person where they increase in number and later the parasite enters the blood stream of the person and invades the red blood cells. Toxins are produced and circulate through the blood stream and the symptoms which appear about nine to fourteen (9-14) days after the infection from mosquito bites includes; fever, vomiting, headache, and other flu – like symptoms.
If the parasites bare resistant to drug, then the infection can leads to severe anemia and destruction of red blood cells that result in clogging of blood capillaries that carries blood to the brain resulting in cerebral malaria.
The government general hospital, Ikot-Abasi which is located in the south-west corner of Akwa-ibom state was established in 1933 by Anglican missionaries as a missionary hospital and later became a government own general hospital in 1982 in the then Calabar Province, for good reasons.
This general hospital was used during the Nigeria Civil War, as a combined hospital for military personnel and the public. In 1989, the hospital management board was created as a parastatal from ministry of health to manage the activities of the hospital by the Calabar Province. The hospital has several departments such as eye clinic, a dental clinic, ante-natal clinic, radiology department, laboratory department, pharmacy department and medical records department with an outstanding operating theatre with a special treatment centre.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Malaria has generated a lot of health challenges nationwide (Nigeria). Despite efforts by individuals, government and non-governmental organizations (NGO) in curbing this menace, it still poses a lot of threat to the society as such this research work is to ascertain the level at which their efforts through the years have reduce the level of the occurrence of malaria.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
To study the incidence of malaria cases among the children and adults in the Local Government Area.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work might be of great and good help to the researcher, students, Akwa-Ibom state (Ikot-Abasi L.G.A), ministry of health and all other stake holders. Also, this study might help individual or persons who may want more information of malaria in Ikot-Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa-ibom state.
1.5 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is restricted to the reported cases of malaria in government general hospital, Ikot-Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa-ibom state. From the period of 1996 – 2015.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The researcher encountered some challenges due to time constraints, economic situation of this era, financial problems and difficulty in getting data for analysis etc.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
REPELLENT: is a substance applied to skin, clothing or other surfaces which discourages insects from landing or climbing on the surface
ANOPHELES MOSQUITO: this is a type of mosquito that transmits the malaria parasite to human.
FANSIDAR: is an effective and well tolerated drug for malaria treatment.
GAUZE: a very thin light cloth used to make clothing to cover cuts and to separate solids from liquids.
SPORZOIDS: these are elongated bodies produced in the salivating gland of an anopheles mosquito.
SCHIZONT: this result from the multiplication and growth of sporozoids, they contain many merozoids and pigments.
TIME SERIES: it refers to the set of observation recorded at a particular time usually at a regular interval.
TOXIC METABOLITES: these are toxic release from rupturing of the schizonts.