Case management in underfives at primary health care facilities in a Tanzanian district

Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Tropical Medicine & International Health (Impact Factor: 2.33). 03/2002; 7(3):201-9. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3156.2002.00847.x
Source: PubMed

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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Available from: Lars L Gustafsson, Mar 21, 2015
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    • "The problem is mainly related to a lack of training, and an absence of proper treatment guidelines and diagnostic facilities, especially in rural areas. Therefore, in areas where clinicians have no access to laboratory facilities, treatment is based mainly on clinical symptoms, which leads to overdiagnosis of malaria and excessive use of antimalarial drugs [16]. Mannan et al., [17] reported that 22.4% of patients treated with antimalarial drugs at health facilities in Khartoum, Sudan, did not present with fever, nor reported an attack of fever before presenting themselves for treatment; in addition, 35.4% of patients treated with antimalarials had malaria parasite negative blood films. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Prescription of antimalarial drugs in the absence of malarial disease is a common practice in countries where malaria is endemic. However, unwarranted use of such drugs can cause side effects in some people and is a financial drain on local economies. In this study, we surveyed the prevalence of malaria parasites in humans, and the prevalence of the malaria transmitting mosquito vectors in the study area. We also investigated the use of antimalarial drugs in the local people. We focused on randomly selected rural areas of eastern Pakistan where no malaria cases had been reported since May 2004. Methods Mass blood surveys, active case detection, passive case detection, and vector density surveys were carried out in selected areas of Sargodha district from September 2008 to August 2009. Data pertaining to the quantities and types of antimalarial drugs used in these areas were collected from health centers, pharmacies, and the district CDC program of the Health Department of the Government of the Punjab. Results Seven hundred and forty four blood samples were examined, resulting in a Blood Examination Rate (BER) of 3.18; microscopic analysis of blood smears showed that none of the samples were positive for malaria parasites. Investigation of the mosquito vector density in 43 living rooms (bedrooms or rooms used for sleeping), 23 stores, and 32 animal sheds, revealed no vectors capable of transmitting malaria in these locations. In contrast, the density of Culex mosquitoes was high. Substantial consumption of a variety of antimalarial tablets, syrups, capsules and injections costing around 1000 US$, was documented for the region. Conclusion Use of antimalarial drugs in the absence of malarial infection or the vectors that transmit the disease was common in the study area. Continuous use of such drugs, not only in Pakistan, but in other parts of the world, may lead to drug-induced side effects amongst users. Better training of health care professionals is needed to ensure accurate diagnoses of malaria and appropriate prescription of antimalarial drugs delivered to communities.
    BMC Public Health 11/2012; 12(1):941. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-941 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "In spite of reflecting only urban areas, this operational indicator showed good performance, following WHO recommendations (at least 90% of suspected malaria outpatient cases should undergo laboratory diagnosis-thick smear or Rapid Diagnostic Test) [24]. Different results are reported from some African countries, where laboratory diagnostic coverage revolved from 33% to 40% [25,26], while in other settings 60% of patients have no access to diagnosis [27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In spite of the fact that pharmaceutical services are an essential component of all malaria programmes, quality of these services has been little explored in the literature. This study presents the first results of the application of an evaluation model of pharmaceutical services in high-risk municipalities of the Amazon region, focusing on indicators regarding organization of services and prescribing according to national guidelines. A theoretical framework of pharmaceutical services for non-complicated malaria was built based on the Rapid Evaluation Method (WHO). The framework included organization of services and prescribing, among other activities. The study was carried out in 15 primary health facilities in six high-risk municipalities of the Brazilian Amazon. Malaria individuals ≥ 15 years old were approached and data was collected using specific instruments. Data was checked by independent reviewers and fed to a data bank through double-entry. Descriptive variables were analyzed. A copy of the official treatment guideline was found in 80% of the facilities; 67% presented an environment for receiving and prescribing patients. Re-supply of stocks followed a different timeline; no facilities adhered to forecasting methods for stock management. No shortages or expired anti-malarials were observed, but overstock was a common finding. On 86.7% of facilities, the average of good storage practices was 48%. Time between diagnosis and treatment was zero days. Of 601 patients interviewed, 453 were diagnosed for Plasmodium vivax; of these, 99.3% received indications for the first-line scheme. Different therapeutic schemes were given to Plasmodium falciparum patients. Twenty-eight (4.6%) out of 601 were prescribed regimens not listed in the national guideline. Only 5.7% individuals received a prescription or a written instruction of any kind. The results show that while diagnostic procedure is well established and functioning in the Brazilian malaria programme, prescribing is still an activity that is actually not performed. The absence of physicians and poor integration between malaria services and primary health services make for the lack of a prescription or written instruction for malaria patients throughout the Brazilian Amazon. This fact may lead to a great number of problems in rational use and in adherence to medication.
    Malaria Journal 11/2011; 10(1):335. DOI:10.1186/1475-2875-10-335 · 3.11 Impact Factor
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    • "None of the symptoms and signs of malaria that were evaluated so far had sufficient sensitivity and specificity for the reliable diagnosis of a febrile patient [16,17]. As a result, the approach to diagnosing malaria on clinical grounds alone has led to substantial over-diagnosis [11,12,18,19]. The level of over-diagnosis is more pronounced in low transmission settings (including urban areas) where the proportion of fevers due to malaria is much lower [20,21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Laboratory capacity to confirm malaria cases in Tanzania is low and presumptive treatment of malaria is being practiced widely. In malaria endemic areas WHO now recommends systematic laboratory testing when suspecting malaria. Currently, the use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) is recommended for the diagnosis of malaria in lower level peripheral facilities, but not in health centres and hospitals. In this study, the following parameters were evaluated: (1) the quality of routine microscopy, and (2) the effects of RDT implementation on the positivity rate of malaria test results at three levels of the health system in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. During a baseline cross-sectional survey, routine blood slides were randomly picked from 12 urban public health facilities in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Sensitivity and specificity of routine slides were assessed against expert microscopy. In March 2007, following training of health workers, RDTs were introduced in nine public health facilities (three hospitals, three health centres and three dispensaries) in a near-to-programmatic way, while three control health facilities continued using microscopy. The monthly malaria positivity rates (PR) recorded in health statistics registers were collected before (routine microscopy) and after (routine RDTs) the intervention in all facilities. At baseline, 53% of blood slides were reported as positive by the routine laboratories, whereas only 2% were positive by expert microscopy. Sensitivity of routine microscopy was 71.4% and specificity was 47.3%. Positive and negative predictive values were 2.8% and 98.7%, respectively. Median parasitaemia was only three parasites per 200 white blood cells (WBC) by routine microscopy compared to 1226 parasites per 200 WBC by expert microscopy. Before RDT implementation, the mean test positivity rates using routine microscopy were 43% in hospitals, 62% in health centres and 58% in dispensaries. After RDT implementation, mean positivity rates using routine RDTs were 6%, 7% and 8%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of RDTs using expert microscopy as reference were 97.0% and 96.8%. The positivity rate of routine microscopy remained the same in the three control facilities: 71% before versus 72% after. Two cross-sectional health facility surveys confirmed that the parasite rate in febrile patients was low in Dar es Salaam during both the rainy season (13.6%) and the dry season (3.3%). The quality of routine microscopy was poor in all health facilities, regardless of their level. Over-diagnosis was massive, with many false positive results reported as very low parasitaemia (1 to 5 parasites per 200 WBC). RDTs should replace microscopy as first-line diagnostic tool for malaria in all settings, especially in hospitals where the potential for saving lives is greatest.
    Malaria Journal 11/2011; 10(1):332. DOI:10.1186/1475-2875-10-332 · 3.11 Impact Factor
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