Should we really be promoting home or community-based malaria treatment? Insights from a study in Southeast Nigeria on the treatment of child-hood malaria

  • OE Onwujekwe Health Policy Research Unit, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Enugu, Nigeria
  • C Akahara Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Enugu
  • BSC Uzochukwu Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Enugu
  • EN Shu Health Policy Research Unit, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Enugu, Nigeria

Abstract

Aim:To determine household's practices in utilization of home treatment for childhood malaria and explore their implications for improving prompt appropriate care in communities.
Methods: Questionnaires were administered to women from randomly selected households with previous month history of childhood malaria in four villages. Focus groups discussions were also held with groups of men and women in each village.
Results: A total of 28/94(29.8%) of the households had drugs in their homes at the time the child had “malaria” and 40 (42.6%) had to buy the drugs from outside. However, 26 (27.7%) first took the child to a health facility for treatment. Only 53.2% cases were confirmed to be malaria, but 47.8% of the treatments given contained anti-malaria and 31.2% drugs like antibiotics.
Conclusion: Home treatment can lead to inappropriate drug consumption. It is necessary to compare the cost-effectiveness of alternative means of bringing treatment nearer the home and community –based health workers can help to surmount the problems with home treatment.

Keywords:Malaria, Home treatment, Community–based, Appropriate treatment.

(J College Med: 2003 8(1): 20-22)
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eISSN: 1118-2601