Treatment of Uncomplicated Falciparum Malaria with Artesunate-Amodiaquine Combination Therapy (ACT) in a Rural Fishing Community in Sierra Leone
Until recently, Chloroquine was the mainstay for malaria chemotherapy in Africa because it is cheap, safe and practicable for out-patient use. Resistance to this drug has however over the past decade, presented a major public health problem with therapeutic and prophylactic implications. As a response to the emergence of resistance to the commonly used antimalarial drugs, the World Health Organisation (WHO) now recommends the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). We assessed the therapeutic efficacy of oral Artesunate-Amodiaquine hydrochloride combination therapy in the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in a rural fishing community in Sierra Leone. One hundred and fourteen (114) participants aged 0 – 5 years attending the Outpatient Department of Gbondapi Health Centre were screened for recruitment into the study of which 70 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Artesunate-Amodiaquine hydrochloride combined drug which passed the general counterfeit test of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation was used in the study. Adequate Clinical and parasitological Response (ACPR) was observed in 97% of the study population. Mean parasite clearance time in the participants with ACPR was found to be 24 hours (range 24 –72 hours). All 3% of the treatment failures were observed to be Early Treatment Failures (ETF). Results from the study indicate that Artesunate-Amodiaquine hydrochloride combination therapy is an effective antimalarial drug in a high transmission zone like Sierra Leone, and in the event that the drug is not effective, the results will be evident within one day of commencement of treatment.