Babies that are born from a mother with malaria during pregnancy is vulnerable to experience malarial infection.
This was said by Dr. dr. RR. Ratni Indrawati, researcher of Infection and Tropical Diseases of Pediatric Science at Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing of Universitas Gadjah Mada , Sp.A., when defending her doctoral dissertation on Wednesday(21/3).
Ratni said that pregnant mothers and babies were the most vulnerable population to experience sickness and death significantly due to malaria. Previous research showed increased vulnerabilities of malarial infection in the baby born by pregnant mothers who suffer from malaria. But another research did not find any relations between malarial infection in pregnancies with malaria risk in the baby.
Thus, the UGM lecturer conducted her research to observe the maternal malaria effect to the vulnerabilities of malaria infection and prevalence of submicroscopic malaria compared to microscopic malaria in mother and baby. She also observed the growth and development of the baby in the first year.
The research was done in Timika, Papua since October 2013 to September 2016, involving 190 babies, of whom 105 having maternal malaria.
Microscopic test showed that the baby group from mothers with maternal malaria experience more malaria infections compared to baby from mothers without maternal malaria. This differed when babies were 6 months or 12 months old.
“At 6 months old, babies from mothers with maternal malaria had 7.44 times risk to malaria infection compared to babies from mothers having no maternal malaria,” she explained.
PCR observation also showed malaria infection in babies from mothers with maternal malaria was higher than in babies from mothers without maternal malaria. Babies from mothers with maternal malaria at 6 and 12 months old had the risk 9.09 times and 8.58 more to get infected than babies from mothers without maternal malaria.
Ratni said babies from mothers with maternal malaria also had more malnutrition case at 3,4, and 9 months old, also stunting at 4 and 9 months old, having lower cognitive and motoric scores at 12 months old compared to babies from mothers without maternal malaria.