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Adherence of health care practitioners to WHO management guidelines for malaria in Ijebu Ode, Nigeria

Author(s): Owolabi Emmanuel Sokefun, Fisayo Tolulope Afuye, Olabode Onileere,, Onikepe Folarin

Adherence to treatment guidelines is pivotal to malaria control, and ultimately the actualization of the malaria eradication agenda in Africa. This study assessed malaria management practices among health care practitioners in Ijebu Ode community, Ogun State, Nigeria. Structured questionnaires measuring treatment practices were administered to consenting health care practitioners in the study area. Responses were scored and compared to national and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for malaria management. Fifty-one (51) responses comprising mostly of doctors (56.86%) were utilized out of 54 participants enrolled. Consecutive adults (>18 years old) had the greatest susceptibility to malaria from the study. Presumptive diagnosis (82.33%) with (74.49%) or without (7.84%) the combination of other methods was the most reported form of diagnosis while Arthemether-Lumefantrine (88.0%) was the most prescribed drug for treating uncomplicated malaria. The correct Intermittent Prevention Therapy (IPT) of Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) administered at least twice during pregnancy was followed by only 45.10% of the practitioners. Mean practice score in the study was 2.3±1.0 out of a total obtainable score of 4. Nurses had the highest practice score (72.5%), followed by doctors (55.0%). Average practice scores were equal across private (2.3±0.9) and government-owned (2.3±1.4) hospitals with the only difference observed in the standard deviation. Lack of funding and necessary equipment was reasons reported to hinder performance. Management practices of health care institutions in the study area are average, and a multifaceted approach is needed to ensure strict compliance with national and WHO malaria management guidelines to achieve the malaria eradication agenda.

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