Utilization of the current national antimalarial treatment guidelines among doctors in army hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria


Introduction: Human malaria infection remains a problem of public health importance in many regions of the world. The infection continues to spread particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, malaria and its treatment have been affected by factors like wrong diagnosis, wrong attitude of the people, unavailability of drugs, fake and substandard drugs, attitude and practices of medical and paramedical personnel. Nigeria’s national standard for malaria treatment was recently changed to artemisinin combination therapy. Methods: A descriptive study using a structured questionnaire was administered to all doctors (123) practicing in the three Army hospitals in Lagos. The study was done between March, 2009 and April, 2009. The findings were precoded; data entry and analysis was done using EPI INFO version 3.5.1 statistical software. Results: Presumptive/clinical diagnosis was still a common practice for diagnosing malaria among doctors, as well as the use of microscopy. None of the doctors had the facility for diagnosing malaria with rapid diagnostic test in their hospitals. Fifty one percent of the doctors stated that they utilized the current National antimalarial treatment guidelines. Significant proportion of the doctors used Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACTs) as first line treatment of uncomplicated malaria in adults and children. Chloroquine was the commonest drug for first line treatment of uncomplicated malaria in pregnancy. Only 45.5% of the doctors had correct knowledge of Intermittent Preventive Treatment in pregnancy (IPTp), while 33.3% knew the stage of pregnancy in which a pregnant woman should receive IPTp with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine. Awareness and the content of knowledge of the current National antimalarial treatment guideline were not affected by the category or current position of the doctors. Thirteen percent of the respondents had attended training/update workshop organized by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) Roll Back Malaria programme on the current National antimalarial treatment guideline. Conclusion: The study showed that there is need to improve use of recommended antimalarial medicines for all categories of patients by doctors in Army Hospitals in Lagos. More effort should be made by the Federal Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to organize training and refresher courses on the current National antimalarial treatment guidelines for all categories of health care providers.

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Harrison, N. , Olufunlayo, T. and Agomo, C. (2012) Utilization of the current national antimalarial treatment guidelines among doctors in army hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2, 390-393. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2012.23056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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