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Free Content Improving access to early treatment of malaria: a trial with primary school teachers as care providers

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The feasibility of improving access to early case detection and prompt and adequate management of acute episodes of malaria using school teachers was explored through an intervention trial in Ghana. Of all the ‘fevers’ diagnosed as presumptive malaria by the trained teachers, 93% met the case definition. However, a lower proportion (75%) of such correctly diagnosed cases were subsequently treated according to the treatment protocol provided. In a scaled up study, pre-packaging of the antimalarial drug improved the rate of adequate treatment to 97% of cases correctly diagnosed as presumptive malaria. Pre-packaging of chloroquine ensured a high level of user compliance (96.6%), even in the face of diminished supervision of the teachers. It is feasible for the health and education sectors to work in partnership to improve access to early case detection and adequate management of acute episodes of malaria.

Keywords: Ghana; antimalarials/administration; case management; drug packaging; patience adherence; primary schools

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2005.01484.x

Affiliations: 1: Liverpool Associates in Tropical Health, Liverpool, UK 2: Regional Health Directorate, Greater Accra Region, Ghana 3: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK 4: Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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