Effects of HIV-Intestinal Parasites Co-Infection on Selected Hematological Parameters among Pregnant Women in Selected Health Facilities in Nyeri County, Kenya
Nyambura, Anthony Wanjohi
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Pregnancy places extreme stress on the haematological system and understanding of the physiological changes that result is obligatory in order to interpret any need for therapeutic intervention. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia in pregnancy. Intestinal parasitic infections increase anaemia in pregnant women. The results are low pregnancy weight gain and intra uterine development retardation (IUDR), followed by low birth weight (LBW), with its associated greater risk of infection and higher perinatal mortality rates. On the other hand HIV and AIDS is one of leading cause of mortality worldwide. HIV damage a person's body by destroying specific blood cells including CD4 T cells which are crucial to helping the body fight diseases resulting to AIDS. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected by both HIV and intestinal parasites disease burdens. In Kenya, HIV infection remains a major public health problem where women are most affected. Studies have documented the effects of parasite infection on haemoglobin among pregnant women. Effects of HIV infection on haemoglobin level have been documented as well. However, there is paucity of data on effect of HIV - Intestinal parasite co-infection on haematological changes among pregnant women in Kenya. The co-infection is likely to aggravate the haematological changes. Therefore, this study aims to establish the prevalence of co-infection with HIV and intestinal parasites, the effect of HIV -Intestinal parasites co-infection on haemoglobin, red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and CD4 cells; management practices of the co-infection and challenges encountered by health facilities during management. A cross sectional study will be conducted where a sample population of 344 pregnant women in selected health facilities in Nyeri County will participate. Structured interviewer administered questionnaires will be used to collect quantitative data. Qualitative data will be collected using six focused group discussions among pregnant women and key informant interviews among health care providers. Stool and blood samples will be analysed in the laboratory using standard procedures. The data collected will be managed and analysed using SPSS for windows (version 20). The information generated will inform policy development to address the problem of HIV and intestinal parasites co-infection among pregnant women.