A cross-sectional study of home-based management of malaria in Bakaano, a suburb of cape coast, Ghana: recognition of signs, symptoms and treatment options

  • J.N Boampong
  • S Acquah
  • A Achiamaa
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A community-based cross-sectional study was designed to assess  knowledge on signs, symptoms and treatment options for malaria in Bakaano, a suburb of Cape Coast, to determine the extent to which malaria is managed at homes. Our observations showed that the community had good knowledge of signs and symptoms of malaria. Of the 200 randomly selected respondents from 250 households, 163 (81.5%) had experienced malaria management at home. Knowledge on recognition of signs and symptoms correlated positively with the level of formal education for both males (r=0.927, P<0.001) and females (r=0.768, P<0.001). The use of Fansidar (sulphadoxine pyrimethamine) and chloroquine as treatment regimens by respondents were not in line with the WHO and Ghana Ministry of Health recommendations for malaria treatment. Treatment failure of 95% was observed among respondents with home-based malaria treatment experience. These findings emphasize the importance of functional education and the flaws in the educational campaign of the malaria control programme. It is also a recipe for the development of drug resistant strains of Plasmodium parasites to the recommended artemisinin-based combination therapy. Poverty was the major barrier to compliance with the recommended treatment regimen. To ensure successful home-based management of malaria, community health workers should be empowered to do ‘door-to-door’ malaria educational campaign and monitoring of home-based treatment regimens.

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eISSN: 0855-3823