Home Treatment of Presumed Malaria in Children Attending Outpatient Clinic at The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
Background: According to WHO, majority of the children who die from malaria do so within the first 48 hours of onset of illness and early use of effective antimalarial drugs will reduce the burden of malaria in endemic areas. This study was to determine the pattern of antimalarial drug use by caregivers, their sources as well as when and why they presented to hospital.
Patients and Methods: Consecutive mothers whose children presented at the outpatient clinic with fever without localised focus, who believed their children were having malaria, were interviewed with the aid of a questionnaire.
Results: One hundred and forty-four (62.6%) of the mothers/caregivers had administered antimalarials at home. 112 (78.3%) commenced within 24hrs of onset of symptoms, while 14 (8.7%) started after 48hrs. Duration of home treatment ranged from less than or equals to 24hrs (32.5%) and one week or more (8.2%). Antimalarials given included choroquine, amodiaquine, artesunate, sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine, artemisinin-based combination therapy, quinine and paludrine. Majority (67.8%) of the medications given were obtained directly from the local drug stores
Conclusion: There was a high rate of home treatment for febrile illness in our environment; this calls for the need to educate both mothers and patent drug dealers on the current antimalarial treatment policy.
Key Words: Malaria, Treatment, Children, Home