Anti‑malaria prescription in pregnancy among general practitioners in Enugu state, south east Nigeria
AbstractBackground: The national policy on malaria control recommends use of intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (IPT‑SP) for chemoprophylaxis against malaria in pregnancy; and use of quinine and arthemisinin‑based combination therapy (ACT) for acute treatment of malaria in the first, and second/third trimesters, respectively. In Nigeria, a large proportion of pregnant women are seen by the general practitioners (GPs). Objective: To determine the pattern of anti‑malaria prescription in pregnancy among GPs in Enugu state, and access the level of conformity with the national policy on malaria control. Materials and Methods: Questionnaires were administered to a cross‑section of 147 GPs that attended the 2010 Enugu state branch of the Nigeria Medical Association Scientific Conference/Annual General Meeting/Election. Results: The mean age of the GPs was 37 ± 3.6 (range 27-70) years. Quinine was the commonly (45.6% (n = 67)) prescribed anti‑malaria drug in the first trimester while in the second/third trimester ACT was commonly (48.3% (n = 71)) prescribed. Seventy‑six (51.7%) practitioners prescribed IPT‑SP for chemoprophylaxis against malaria while the rest (48.3%) prescribed other drugs. GPs who obtained MBBS qualification less than or equal to 5 years prior to the survey were more likely to comply with the national policy on malaria control in their prescriptions (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The pattern of anti‑malaria prescription among GPs in Enugu state is varied, and conformed poorly to the evidence‑based national policy on malaria control. There is need for continuing professional development to keep the GPs abreast with current trends in malaria treatment during pregnancy.
Keywords: Anti‑malaria prescription, Enugu state, general practitioners, pregnancy
Nigerian Medical Journal | Vol. 54 | Issue 2 | March-April | 2013