Manifestation and outcome of severe malaria in children in northern Ghana

Frank P. Mockenhaupt, Stephan Ehrhardt, Jana Burkhardt, Samuel Y. Bosomtwe, Stephen Laryea, Sylvester D. Anemana, Rowland N. Otchwemah, Jakob P. Cramer, Ekkehart Dietz, Sabine Gellert, Ulrich Bienzle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The symptoms of severe malaria and their contribution to mortality were assessed in 290 children in northern Ghana. Common symptoms were severe anemia (55%), prostration (33%), respiratory distress (23%), convulsions (20%), and impaired consciousness (19%). Age influenced this pattern. The fatality rate was 11.2%. In multivariate analysis, circulatory collapse, impaired consciousness, hypoglycemia, and malnutrition independently predicted death. Children with severe malaria by the current World Health Organization (WHO) classification, but not by the previous one (1990), showed relatively mild clinical manifestations and a low case fatality rate (3.2%). In hospitalized children with severe malaria in northern Ghana, severe anemia is the leading manifestation, but itself does not contribute to mortality. In this region, malnutrition and circulatory collapse were important predictors of fatal malaria. The current WHO criteria serve well in identifying life-threatening disease, but also include rather mild cases that may complicate the allocation of immediate care in settings with limited resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Manifestation and outcome of severe malaria in children in northern Ghana'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this