Pan African Medical Journal

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Practice of antimalarial prescription to patients with negative rapid test results and associated factors among health workers in Oyo State, Nigeria

Akinfemi Oyewumi Akinyode, IkeOluwapo Oyeneye Ajayi, Muhammed Sani Ibrahim, Joshua Odunayo Akinyemi, Olufemi Olamide Ajumobi


Introduction: Contrary to World Health Organizations recommendations, health workers (HWs) still prescribe antimalarials to malaria rapid diagnostic test (mRDT)-negative patients, thus increasing overuse and the risk of parasite resistance to the antimalarials. The reasons for this are not clear. We identified factors associated with antimalarial prescription to mRDT-negative patients.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among 423 HWs. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, training, supervision experience and fever management practices were collected. We tested associations between independent variables and prescription of antimalarials to mRDT-negative patients using Chi square and logistic regression at p < 0.05.

Results: The HWs were mostly community health workers (58.6%), with mean age of 41.0 (±8.8) years and 13.6 (± 9.0) years of professional practice. Females were 322 (76.1%) and 368 (87%) were married. Of the 423 HWs interviewed, 329 (77.8%) received training on mRDT use, 329 (80.6%) received supervision and 129 (30.5%) had good knowledge of causes of fever. Overall, 110 (26.0%) of the HWs prescribed antimalarials to mRDT-negative patients. A higher proportion of non-trained vs trained HWs [Adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) = 4.9; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) (2.5-8.3)], and HWs having poor knowledge vs HWs having good knowledge of causes of fever [aOR = 1.9; 95% CI (1.0-3.5)], prescribed antimalarials to mRDT-negative patients.

Conclusion: HWs' lack of training on mRDT use and poor knowledge of causes of fever were associated with prescription of antimalarials to mRDT-negative patients. We recommend training on management of fever and mRDT use to reduce such inappropriate antimalarial prescriptions.

Keywords: Rapid diagnostic tests, antimalarial, prescriptions, Nigeria
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