alexa Self-reported use of anti-malarial drugs and health facility management of malaria in Ghana.

Author(s): Buabeng KO, Duwiejua M, Dodoo AN, Matowe LK, Enlund H

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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the appropriateness of self-reported use of anti-malarial drugs prior to health facility attendance, and the management of malaria in two health facilities in Ghana. METHOD: A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 500 respondents who were diagnosed clinically and/or parasitologically for malaria at Agogo Presbyterian Hospital and Suntreso Polyclinic, both in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Collected information included previous use of anti-malarial drugs prior to attending the health facilities, types of drugs used, how the drugs were used, and the sources of the drugs. In addition, the anti-malarial therapy given and outcomes at the two health facilities were assessed. RESULTS: Of the 500 patients interviewed, 17\% had severe malaria, 8\% had moderate to severe malaria and 75\% had uncomplicated malaria. Forty three percent of the respondents had taken anti-malarial drugs within two weeks prior to hospital attendance. The most commonly used anti-malarials were chloroquine (76\%), sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (9\%), herbal preparations (9\%) and amodiaquine (6\%). The sources of these medicines were licensed chemical sellers (50\%), pharmacies (21\%), neighbouring clinics (9\%) or "other" sources (20\%) including left-over medicines at home. One hundred and sixty three (77\%) of the 213 patients who had used anti-malarial drugs prior to attending the health facilities, used the drugs inappropriately. At the health facilities, the anti-malarials were prescribed and used according to the national standard treatment guidelines with good outcomes. CONCLUSION: Prevalence of inappropriate use of anti-malarials in the community in Ghana is high. There is need for enhanced public health education on home-based management of malaria and training for workers in medicine supply outlets to ensure effective use of anti-malaria drugs in the country.
This article was published in Malar J and referenced in

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