Conference abstract

Malaria diagnosis and treatment practices in Tolon district, Northern Region

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:3(112).01 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.3.112.267

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Keywords: Parasitological diagnosis, Tolon district, Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT)
Oral presentation

Malaria diagnosis and treatment practices in Tolon district, Northern Region

Tahiru Ukasha1,2,&, Donne Ameme1, Ernest Kenu1, Hafia Safia2, Richael Mills1

1Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Ghana, 2Ghana Health Service, Ghana

&Corresponding author
Tahiru Ukasha, Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Ghana Health Service, Ghana


Introduction: effective case management involving prompt parasitological diagnosis and treatment with Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) has been recognized as the cornerstone of malaria control strategies. Despite Ghana’s adoption of these recommendations, malaria accounts for 66% of all OPD cases in Tolon district which is higher than the regional average. This raises doubts about malaria diagnosis and treatment practice. This study therefore sought to assess malaria diagnosis and treatment practices in the Tolon district.

Methods: a health facility based cross sectional study was conducted in the Tolon district from December 2014 to May 2015 to assess malaria diagnosis and treatment practices. Direct observation of patient consultations, interviews and record abstraction were employed for data collection. Categorical variables were expressed as proportions and continuous variables were summarized. Logistic regression was used to assess associations between test and treat and the independent variables.

Results: the study assessed six health centers, 25 health workers, 175 patient consultations and 420 patient records. Testing rate was 67.1% (278/420). ACT was prescribed to 89.3% of the patients and only 41.0% of suspected malaria patients were diagnosed and treated with ACT. However, 57.5% (50/87) of patients with negative test results received ACT and 75.9% (104/137) of those who were not tested also received ACT. Compliance to treatment guidelines was found to be associated with: compared to health centers, CHPS has 0.64 times [AOR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.43-0.95] decreased likelihood of compliance to guidelines, supervision [AOR = 2.50, 95% CI: 1.15 5.41]. Cadre of health worker, training, years served by health worker and patient age were not significantly associated with compliance to treatment guidelines.

Conclusion: malaria diagnosis and treatment practice in Tolon district is sub optimal. Despite availability of RDT, only 67.1% (282/420) of suspected malaria cases were tested. 89.3% (375/420) of the patients received the first line treatment drug AA. 57.5% (50/87) of patients who tested negative for malaria and 75.9% (104/137) of patients not tested for malaria received ACT. Compliance is higher in health centers than in CHPS. Supervision should be intensified especially in the CHPS compounds.