Case management of malaria in under-fives at primary health care facilities in a Tanzanian district.
ABSTRACT To study case management of malaria in children under 5 years of age at primary health care facilities in Kibaha district, Tanzania and to evaluate the accuracy of self-reported mothers'/guardians' information on chloroquine use in children.
A random sample of 652 mothers/guardians with sick children under 5 years of age attending 10 primary health care facilities was observed and interviewed. Blood samples for determination of chloroquine levels were taken from all children and thick smears for detection of malaria parasites were taken from the children who were prescribed chloroquine. Information on diagnoses and prescriptions was collected from recording books.
Fever and respiratory problems were the most common complaints and accounted for 75% and 46% of the presenting conditions, respectively (some complained of both). Fifty-four per cent of the children received medication at home, most commonly antipyretics and chloroquine, 20% had been taken to another health facility and 3% to traditional healers before coming to the health facilities. There was a significantly higher use of antipyretics among home treated children compared with those taken previously to health facilities (P <or= 0.001). Use of antibiotics was higher among children who had been taken to health facilities previously (P < 0.0001). Nine per cent had received injections. The average consultation time was 3.8 min. Thirty-nine per cent of the children were physically examined, with large interfacility variations. In 71% of the children malaria was diagnosed, either as a single condition or in combination with others, and with respiratory problems as the leading overlapping condition (29%). Malaria parasites were found in 38% of the cases given a malaria diagnosis. A total of 81% of the health facility prescriptions included analgesics, 71% chloroquine and 54% antibiotics. A fourth of all prescriptions were injections. The proportions of chloroquine and antibiotic injections in relation to the total number of prescriptions varied between the facilities. Of the 529 blood samples successfully analysed for chloroquine, 98% had detectable blood drug levels. Ninety-seven per cent of the children without history of prior chloroquine treatment had detectable drug levels in the blood, 11% had high levels (>or= 1000 nmol/l). Of those prescribed chloroquine, 16% already had high blood concentrations of the drug.
Health care services, i.e. presumptive malaria diagnosis, consultation time and procedure for physical examination need to be improved.
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ABSTRACT: No satisfactory strategy for reducing high child mortality from malaria has yet been established in tropical Africa. We compared the effect on under-5 mortality of teaching mothers to promptly provide antimalarials to their sick children at home, with the present community health worker approach. Of 37 tabias (cluster of villages) in two districts with hyperendemic to holoendemic malaria, tabias reported to have the highest malaria morbidity were selected. A census was done which included a maternity history to determine under-5 mortality. Tabias (population 70,506) were paired according to under-5 mortality rates. One tabia from each pair was allocated by random number to an intervention group and the other was allocated to the control group. In the intervention tabias, mother coordinators were trained to teach other local mothers to recognise symptoms of malaria in their children and to promptly give chloroquine. In both intervention and control tabias, all births and deaths of under-5s were recorded monthly. From January to December 1997, 190 of 6383 (29.8 per 1000) children under-5 died in the intervention tabias compared with 366 of 7294 (50.2 per 1000) in the control tabias. Under-5 mortality was reduced by 40% in the intervention localities (95% CI from 29.2-50.6; paired t test, p<0.003). For every third child who died, a structured verbal autopsy was undertaken to ascribe cause of mortality as consistent with malaria or possible malaria, or not consistent with malaria. Of the 190 verbal autopsies, 13 (19%) of 70 in the intervention tabias were consistent with possible malaria compared with 68 (57%) of 120 in the control tabias. A major reduction in under-5 mortality can be achieved in holoendemic malaria areas through training local mother coordinators to teach mothers to give under-5 children antimalarial drugs.The Lancet 08/2000; 356(9229):550-5. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prices of new antimalarial drugs are targeted at the "travellers' market" in developed countries, which makes them unaffordable in malaria-endemic countries where the per capita annual drug expenditures are US$ 5 or less. Antimalarials are distributed through a variety of channels in both public and private sectors, the official malaria control programmes accounting for 25-30% of chloroquine distribution. The unofficial drug sellers in markets, streets, and village shops account for as much as half of antimalarials distributed in many developing countries. Use of antimalarials through the health services is often poor; drug shortages are common and overprescription and overuse of injections are significant problems. Anxiety over drug costs may prevent patients from getting the necessary treatment for malaria, especially because of the seasonal appearance of this disease when people's cash reserves are very low. The high costs may lead them to unofficial sources, which will sell a single tablet instead of a complete course of treatment, and subsequently to increased, often irrational demand for more drugs and more injections. Increasingly people are resorting to self-medication for malaria, which may cause delays in seeking proper treatment in cases of failure, especially in areas where chloroquine resistance has increased rapidly. Self-medication is now widespread, and measures to restrict the illicit sale of drugs have been unsuccessful. The "unofficial" channels thus represent an unacknowledged extension of the health services in many countries; suggestions are advanced to encourage better self-medication by increasing the knowledge base among the population at large (mothers, schoolchildren, market sellers, and shopkeepers), with an emphasis on correct dosing and on the importance of seeking further treatment without delay, if necessary.Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 02/1991; 69(3):349-63. · 5.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Drug prescribing patterns were studied in 720 retrospective and 779 prospective outpatient prescriptions from 20 dispensaries in Dar es Salaam region, and these revealed a mean drug exposure of 2.0 and 2.3, respectively. The percentage of patients leaving the dispensaries with no prescribed drugs was 1.3% and 0.7%, respectively. Prescriptions containing antibiotics were 36.8% (retrospective) and 39.8% (prospective), while injections accounted for 24.6% and 34% of the total encounters, respectively. Over 70% of prescriptions conformed to the Tanzania essential drug list (EDP) and/or standard treatment guidelines and consisted of 83.9% and 79.1% generic prescriptions, respectively. Interestingly, only 15% of the surveyed dispensaries had an EDP book and/or calendar. Despite the consulting and dispensing times being short (2.98 min and 77.7 s, respectively), 70% of the patients could remember the dosing instructions. Only 64% of the patients had a minimum physical examination.Tropical Doctor 08/1993; 23(3):104-7. · 0.61 Impact Factor