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Treatment-seeking patterns for malaria in pharmacies in five sub-Saharan African countries

Abstract : Abstract Background Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is recommended as the first-line anti-malarial treatment strategy in sub-Saharan African countries. WHO policy recommends parasitological confirmation by microscopy or rapid diagnostic test (RDT) in all cases of suspected malaria prior to treatment. Gaps remain in understanding the factors that influence patient treatment-seeking behaviour and anti-malarial drug purchase decisions in the private sector. The objective of this study was to identify patient treatment-seeking behaviour in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Methods Face-to-face patient interviews were conducted at a total of 208 randomly selected retail outlets in five countries. At each outlet, exit interviews were conducted with five patients who indicated they had come seeking anti-malarial treatment. The questionnaire was anonymous and standardized in the five countries and collected data on different factors, including socio-demographic characteristics, history of illness, diagnostic practices (i.e. microscopy or RDT), prescription practices and treatment purchase. The price paid for the treatment was also collected from the outlet vendor. Results A total of 994 patients were included from the five countries. Location of malaria diagnosis was significantly different in the five countries. A total of 484 blood diagnostic tests were performed, (72.3% with microscopy and 27.7% with RDT). ACTs were purchased by 72.5% of patients who had undergone blood testing and 86.5% of patients without a blood test, regardless of whether the test result was positive or negative
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Submitted on : Monday, December 9, 2019 - 2:50:47 PM
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Joel Ladner, Ben Davis, Etienne Audureau, Joseph Saba. Treatment-seeking patterns for malaria in pharmacies in five sub-Saharan African countries. Malaria Journal, BioMed Central, 2017, 16 (1), ⟨10.1186/s12936-017-1997-3⟩. ⟨hal-02400432⟩



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