Malaria and Helminthic Co-Infection during Pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Minyahil Tadesse Boltena, Ziad El-Khatib, Abraham Sahilemichael Kebede, Benedict Oppong Asamoah, Appiah Seth Christopher Yaw, Kassim Kamara, Phénix Constant Assogba, Andualem Tadesse Boltena, Hawult Taye Adane, Elifaged Hailemeskel, Mulatu Biru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malaria and helminthic co-infection during pregnancy causes fetomaternal haemorrhage and foetal growth retardation. This study determined the pooled burden of pregnancy malaria and helminthic co-infection in sub-Saharan Africa. CINAHL, EMBASE, Google Scholar, Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science databases were used to retrieve data from the literature, without restricting language and publication year. The Joanna Briggs Institute's critical appraisal tool for prevalence studies was used for quality assessment. STATA Version 14.0 was used to conduct the meta-analysis. The I2 statistics and Egger's test were used to test heterogeneity and publication bias. The random-effects model was used to estimate the pooled prevalence at a 95% confidence interval (CI). The review protocol has been registered in PROSPERO, with the number CRD42019144812. In total, 24 studies (n = 14,087 participants) were identified in this study. The pooled analysis revealed that 20% of pregnant women were co-infected by malaria and helminths in sub-Saharan Africa. The pooled prevalence of malaria and helminths were 33% and 35%, respectively. The most prevalent helminths were Hookworm (48%), Ascaris lumbricoides (37%), and Trichuris trichiura (15%). Significantly higher malaria and helminthic co-infection during pregnancy were observed. Health systems in sub-Saharan Africa must implement home-grown innovative solutions to underpin context-specific policies for the early initiation of effective intermittent preventive therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5444
Number of pages22
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Armauer Hansen Research Institute for enabling us and granting access to the databases and The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI), for helping us with access to the databases and development of the review protocol. The Evidence-Based Healthcare Centre at Jimma University in Ethiopia provided us with a comprehensive systematic review training opportunity.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Co-infection
  • Comorbidity
  • Helminthic Infections
  • Pregnancy Malaria
  • Humans
  • Helminthiasis
  • Malaria
  • Prevalence
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women
  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Female
  • Coinfection


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