Patterns of anti-malarial drug treatment among pregnant women in Uganda


Sangare, LR; Weiss, NS; Brentlinger, PE; Richardson, BA; Staedke, SG; Kiwuwa, MS; Stergachis, A; (2011) Patterns of anti-malarial drug treatment among pregnant women in Uganda. Malaria Journal, 10. ISSN 1475-2875 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-10-152

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Abstract

Background: Prompt use of an effective anti-malarial drug is essential for controlling malaria and its adverse effects in pregnancy. The World Health Organization recommends an artemisinin-based combination therapy as the first-line treatment of uncomplicated malaria in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. The study objective was to determine the degree to which presumed episodes of uncomplicated symptomatic malaria in pregnancy were treated with a recommended anti-malarial regimen in a region of Uganda. Methods: Utilizing a population-based random sample, we interviewed women living in Jinja, Uganda who had been pregnant in the past year. Results: Self-reported malaria during the index pregnancy was reported among 67% (n = 334) of the 500 participants. Among the 637 self-reported episodes of malaria, an anti-malarial drug was used for treatment in 85% of the episodes. Use of a currently recommended treatment in the first trimester was uncommon (5.6%). A contraindicated anti-malarial drug (sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine and/or artemether-lumefantrine) was involved in 70% of first trimester episodes. Recommended anti-malarials were used according to the guidelines in only 30.1% of all second and third trimester episodes. Conclusions: Self-reported malaria was extremely common in this population and adherence to treatment guidelines for the management of malaria in pregnancy was poor. Use of artemether-lumefantrine combined with non-recommended anti-malarials was common practice. Overuse of anti-malarial drugs, especially ones that are no longer recommended, undermines malaria control efforts by fueling the spread of drug resistance and delaying appropriate treatment of non-malarial febrile illnesses. Improved diagnostic capacity is essential to ultimately improving the management of malaria-like symptoms during pregnancy and appropriate use of currently available anti-malarials.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY, PLASMODIUM-FALCIPARUM, MALARIA TRANSMISSION, CLINICAL ALGORITHMS, CASE-MANAGEMENT, DIAGNOSIS, ARTESUNATE, QUININE, AREA, RESISTANCE
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 21645402
Web of Science ID: 291851900001
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/423

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