Animal Research International

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Symptoms associated in the diagnosis and management of malaria in a semi urban tropical community

Christopher Tochukwu Amalu, Fabian Chukwuemenam Okafor


study of symptoms associated in the diagnosis and management of malaria in a semi urban community of Enugu State, South-Eastern Nigeria was conducted. Structured qualitative and quantitative questionnaires were administered along an in-depth interview to assess the knowledge, attitude, behaviour and practice (KABP) among school children and pregnant women attending ante-natal clinic hospitals and to ascertain their health-seeking behaviour. Symptomatic diagnosis of the 352 pregnant women and children, showed that 260 (79%) did not manifest any of the malarial symptoms within the past three months as at the time of the study, 20 (5.7%) patients had fever alone, chill and blisters (0.9%), headache, diarrhoea and joint pain (0.3%), and weakness and anorexia (0.6%), respectively. Recent fever combined with chill was highest 2.8%, followed by anorexia and weakness 2.0%, fever with headache, and weakness 1.7%, fever with anorexia and or vomiting 1.4%, fever with chill and headache and/ or amber urine or joint pain or anorexia or frequent sleeping 1.1%, headache with weakness 1.1%. Forty six (46) antenatal care patients out of the 352 population sampled for symptomatic diagnosis to predict malaria infection in symptomatic patients with recent history of treatment showed low sensitivity (41.6%), but highly specific (80%), low positive value (45.7%), high negative predictive value (77.3%), low false positive rate (20%), moderately high false negative rate (58.4%) and a high J-index (78.7%). The axillary temperature was poorly predictive for negative samples with normal axillary temperatures. The mean axillary temperature among children with positive malaria test was 37.0°C and negative malaria test was 36.4°C. Antenatal patients with positive test were 36.5°C and negative malaria test was 35.1°C. Self-diagnosis and presumptive treatment are evident based in the prevention and prompt treatment of malaria disease and this method is prevalent in the rural communities and should be an adjunct to routine microscopy in clinical diagnosis.

Keywords: Malarial symptoms, Anorexia, Diagnostic, Axillary, Sensitivity and predictive value

Animal Research International (2012) 9(2): 1560 – 1566

AJOL African Journals Online