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Monday, April 27, 2015


Although development into anti-malarial drugs have come a long way, much work still needs to be done in order to prevent the hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of senseless deaths caused by this rampant virus each year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3.2 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria, with an estimated 198 million cases and 584 thousand deaths in 2013, alone. The Guardian recently published an article outlining some of the blockades preventing the treatment of malaria.

Carla Kweifio-Okai in her article: "When people come with severe malaria, it is like a race against time", notes the lack of adequate healthcare services within Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda. Further, special emphasis is given to the lack of new and better medications being used to treat malaria, such as injectable Artesunate. Despite its advantages, she notes, the use of Artesunate is pitiful and its roll-out has been frustratingly slow. In Ethiopia, the government has introduced the drug into its national guidelines, yet adequate training in administering it ceases to exist; combined with higher prices and shortages, means the many healthcare facilities have chosen to use older, less effective drugs.  

While this is an issue that needs to be addressed, another issue within this area is increasingly becoming a greater threat to the spread of malaria. Omole et al., in their journal: "A Survey of Antimalarial Drug Use Practices among Urban Dwellers in Abeokuta, Nigeria" emphasizes the increasingly problematic use of Artesunate by locals who are self-medicating to treat malaria. While it's noble that they are taking an initiative to get better, the drug is not being used appropriately, which according to the authors, posses a greater risk of new drug-resistant strains of malaria to form.

A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out to assess anti-malarial drug-use practices amongst locals residing in Adigbe communities, Abeokuta, Nigeria. The study documented the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of 350 respondents in terms of drug preference, attitudes to drug use, and effects of non-compliance to anti-malarial medication. Structured questionnaires were used for data collection with a total of 370 being handed out and 350 used for analysis. 125 (35.71%) of the respondents frequently experienced malaria attacks and practiced self-medicating in hopes of ridding themselves of the illness. 115 (32.86%) of the respondents treated their malaria episodes with a Sulphadoxine-Phyrimethamine combination, while 90 of the respondents frequently purchased Artesunate as a monotherepy malaria treatment due to cost-implications associated with newer and readily available Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs). This equates to only 43 (12.29%) of the respondents purchasing the newer and more better Artemisinin- Combination Therapy. 

The results revealed that therapeutic failure to conventional use of Sulphadoxine-Phyrimethamine by the respondents, as 139 (33.71%) of them experienced no cure and had to repeat self-medicating with anti-malarial medication. The authors suggest that if this pattern of self-medicating persists and is not monitored adequately, there is a possibility of early emergence of resistance to the highly effective anti-malarial drugs presently in use.  

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

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Blogger Candy Swift said...

People need drugs to fight against malaria, especially those living in the third world countries.

5:19 AM  
Blogger aliyaa said...

These structured questionnaires were used for data collection with a total of 370 being handed out and 350 used for analysis. The statistical analysis of biological data is Resistance to the highly in use.

10:09 AM  

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