Exploring the Prevalence of Malaria and Prescribing Pattern of Antimalarial Treatment at an Urban Primary Health Care Centre
AbstractBackground: The primary healthcare is the entry point of the populace into the healthcare sector and is aimed at providing effective and efficient healthcare services. It is paramount to prescribe drugs correctly; especially malaria which remains a major public health problem in Nigeria and a leading causes of outpatient visits to hospitals.
Objectives: The objectives of the study was to determine the prevalence of malaria, knowledge of health workers on current antimalarial prescription and the existing challenge to malaria management at the PHCs.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study at an urban PHC involving review of 1823out patients records; 792 with a microscopic diagnosis of malaria during the months of January to May 2012. An interviewer administered semi-structured questionnaire was used to generate information on the knowledge and pattern of prescription from the health personnel.
Results: Records had 1823 patients consulted at the out-patient in the period under study. All the health personnel knew the cause of malaria, 3 (75%) had correct knowledge of the age group(s) most affected by the disease and none could give the current recommended treatment guideline of malaria, 1 (25%) attempts to give the current treatment regime in all its prescription. Inadequate manpower, lack of National policy guidelines on disease management especially those commonly seen at the grassroots were among the challenges faced.
Conclusion: It is important to adequately train, provide relevant information and communicate effectively to encourage uptake of changes in malaria policy.