Volume 93, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Malaria among school children has received increased attention recently, yet there remain few detailed data on the health and educational burden of malaria, especially in southern Africa. This paper reports a survey among school children in 50 schools in Zomba District, Malawi. Children were assessed for infection, anemia, and nutritional status and took a battery of age-appropriate tests of attention, literacy, and numeracy. Overall, 60.0% of children were infected with , 32.4% were anemic and 32.4% reported sleeping under a mosquito net the previous night. Patterns of infection and anemia varied markedly by school. In multivariable analysis, higher odds of infection were associated with younger age and being stunted, whereas lower odds were associated with reported net use, higher parental education, and socioeconomic status. The odds of anemia were significantly associated with infection, with a dose–response relationship between density of infection and odds of anemia. No clear relationship was observed between health status and cognitive and educational outcomes. The high burden of malaria highlights the need to tackle malaria among school children.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 03 Oct 2014
  • Accepted : 25 Feb 2015
  • Published online : 07 Oct 2015

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