Home management of malaria in an academic community - University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Malaria remains one of the world\'s most devastating diseases, killing millions of people yearly. Home management is an important strategy adopted for the reduction of its fatality. This survey to evaluate home management practices towards malaria among heads of households was undertaken at the residential quarters of the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria. The residential quarters consists of 239 housing units; 179 units accommodating senior workers and 60 units accommodating junior workers. Using the systematic sampling method, a sampling ratio of 1:2 was used in selecting a total of 120 housing units and 120 heads of households for the study. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Results show that of the 120 heads of households interviewed 70.8% were males, while 29.2% were females. Knowledge of the cause of malaria was poor 46 (38.3%). However, knowledge improved with increase in level of education and this association was found to be statistically significant (p = 0.002). The common signs and symptoms associated with malaria in descending order of prevalence were fever 83.3%, weakness 70.0%, headache 62.5%, body pains 50.8%, vomiting 47.7% and loss of appetite 40.8%. Majority of respondents (52.5%) delayed treatment to between one to three days after recognition of signs/symptoms of malaria. Most of the respondents (90.8%) preferred orthodox drugs for home treatment of malaria while 3.3% and 5.8% used herbal preparations. Others used a combination of orthodox and herbal preparations. The commonly used orthodox drugs were choloroquine (45.0%), followed by sulphadoxine pyrimethamine (fansidar) (25.0%) and sulphadaxin pyrimethamine (maloxine) (20.0%), amongst others. However, chloroquine, which was most commonly used, was the most incorrectly administered. Prevention against malaria was mostly achieved through the use of door/window gauze (35%) and combination of insecticide and door/window gauze (30%). Home management of malaria is an important strategy that needs to be sustained. However, inadequate treatment regimen remains a hindrance to the success of this vital control effort. There is a need to educate all strata of the society on the correct administration of common antimalarials to reduce the impact of the disease.
Keywords: Malaria, home management, University of Benin, treatment
Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Research Vol. 3 (1) 2004: pp. 73-80