Progress toward elimination of malaria in Nigeria: Uptake of artemisinin.based combination therapies for the treatment of malaria in households in Benin City
Background: The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership converged in Abuja in 2000. In 2005, Nigeria adopted artemisinin.based combination therapies (ACTs) as first.line therapy for uncomplicated malaria. It was determined
that by 2010, 80% of persons with malaria would be effectively treated.
Objectives: To describe household practices for malaria treatment in Benin City; to explore demographic characteristics that may influence use of ACTs.
Materials and Methods: Multistage sampling technique was used to select households from each of the three local government areas in Benin City. Adult respondents were interviewed. Household reference persons (HRPs)
were defined by International Labour Organization categories. Data were collected between December 2009 and February 2010 and were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Version 16.0, at a significance level of P < 0.05 (2.tailed).
Results: Of the 240 households selected, 217 were accessible, and respondents from 90% of these recalled the most recent episode (s) of malaria. One.third of malaria episodes had occurred in children younger than 5 years. ACTs were used in 4.9% of households; sulfadoxine.pyrimethamine was the chief non.ACT antimalarial, followed by
artemisinin monotherapies. Patent medicine stores were the most common sources of antimalarial medicines (38.2%), followed by private hospitals (20.3%) and private pharmacies (10.6%). Only 8.3% of households got their medicines from government hospitals. Having a HRP in managerial or professional categories was associated with a 6 times higher odds of using ACTs, compared to other occupational categories [odds ratio (OR) 5.8; confidence interval (CI) 1.470.20.758, P = 0.016]. Fathersf tertiary or higher education was significantly associated with ACT use, but not
mothersf (OR 0.054, CI 0.006.0.510; P = 0.011 and OR 0.905, CI 0.195.4.198; P = 0.898, respectively).
Conclusion: Ten years after the historic Abuja meeting, only 5% of households in Benin City used ACTs for the treatment of malaria, sourcing medicines chiefly from patent medicine stores and private hospitals. Fathersf level of education was significantly associated with ACT use. Interventions to eliminate malaria from Nigeria should mainstream the men folk and health care providers outside government hospitals, in line with the Nigerian reality.
Keywords: Artemisinin.based combination therapy, Benin City, households, malaria