Sahel Medical Journal

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Determination of benefit of early identification of severe forms of malaria in peripheral centres in South Eastern Nigeria

DF Nwagbo, CC Ibeh


Background/Aims: A pilot study to determine benefits of early identification of severe forms of malaria in peripheral centres was carried out in 3 rural communities of South Eastern Nigeria.

Methodology: The study area is located in the rain forest belt of South Eastern Nigeria with high temperature and humidity. It is a typical rural setting with hardly accessible roads, very little physical infrastructure and difficulty in access to health care facilities.

Results: After 4 months of the study, a total of 788 patients were seen in the 3 sites. Patients presenting with malaria symptoms totalled 543 representing (68.9%). The male /female distribution is 297 and 246 respectively. Out of 421 blood smears for malaria parasite done, 192 were positive. Most (335) of the patients with malaria symptoms were children aged less than 4 years. Forty-seven patients presented with severe forms of malaria of which 35 (74.5%) were children under 10 years. All the 47 patients with severe malaria were referred to the usual centre and followed up subsequently. While 2 (4.26%) of them died, the rest 45 (95.74%) survived and were discharged after a mean duration of stay of 6 days.

Conclusion: The importance of immediate referral of identified cases was validated by this study.

Keywords: benefits, treatment, severe malaria

Sahel Medical Journal Vol. 8(4) 2005: 79-82
AJOL African Journals Online