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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Malaria Prevalence and Treatment Seeking Behaviour of Young Nigerian Adults - Annals of African Medicine Vol.5 No.2

Today we are featuring "Malaria Prevalence and Treatment Seeking Behaviour of Young Nigerian Adults" by Anumudu et al. in the Annals of African Medicine, vol. 5, no. 2.
This study was designed and conducted to determine the preferred treatment and control methods used by young adults in urban areas, as well as the presence and levels of anti-malaria antibodies as an indication of exposure. 

Researchers used questionnaires regarding malaria management and the treatment practices given to 307 undergraduate science majors, as well as follow up questionnaires given to a small portion of the students. 

Microscopy was conducted to determine parasitaemia and antibodies Plasmodium falciparum MSP-1 were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). 

The results of this study may be surprising to some. In the population, malaria prevalence was 17% (19/109) and the burden of the parasite was generally low. Antimalaria antibodies, however, were present in 93.6% of the volunteers confirmed malaria exposure within the volunteers. 

Analysis of the data revealed that self-treatment of the virus at home was a common practice among the study group. Approximately 25% of the volunteers treated themselves when initial symptoms began to show. This included the use of herbal remedies as well as multiple medications to treat a single episode of malaria. Cloroquine and Maloxine were most often used in these treatments. The study showed that 97.5% of the volunteers had malaria at least once within the prior 3 months of the study.

In summary, the study indicated that most of the volunteers had been exposed to malaria, yet the virus did not transmit into illness, possibly due to the knowledge of malaria transmission and prophylactic use of antimalarial medication. Additionally, the study indicates that although treatment for malaria by a doctor is best, many episodes of the sickness are treated outside of the formal setting of a hospital or care facility.  

For this article and others from this issue, click here.

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