RESEARCH PAPER
Knowledge and attitude of primary healthcare workers towards rational prescription of Artemisinin-based combination therapy in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Ondo State, southwestern Nigeria
 
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1
Department of Planning, Research and Statistics, State Ministry of Health, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
2
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
3
Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
4
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria
5
Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Tanko Nuhu   

Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Garba Nadama Road, 840212, Sokoto, Nigeria
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Introduction:
For an effective and desired outcome of therapy to be achieved, the technical capacity of the healthcare worker is a key factor. The aim of the study is to assess knowledge and attitudes of primary healthcare (PHC) workers towards rational artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) prescribed in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria.

Material and methods:
This is a descriptive cross-sectional survey in which a self-administered structured questionnaire was used. A combination of stratified and multistage sampling techniques where utilized in the selection of the healthcare workers (HCWs)

Results:
Of the 422 respondents, 100 (23.7%) were males and 322 (76.3%) were females. Respondents with less than five years in practice accounted for 36%, while 64% had six years and above of practice. Community health extension workers (CHEW) accounted for 54%,while 46% were either community health officers (CHO), nurses, midwives, Bachelors of Science (BSc) in community health, or with other qualifications. A total of 390 (92.4%) were aware of the availability of ACTs and used the malaria treatment protocols, whereas 28 (6.6%) still used monotherapy for simple malaria treatment, and 2.7% did not use any form of test before initiating treatment. Co-administration of non-ACTs with ACTs accounted for 12%, with 88% prescribing paracetamol with ACTs. 67% of the respondents required capacity building in rational ACT use.

Conclusions:
The majority of the respondents had the requisite knowledge and skills coupled with positive attitudes in prescribing ACTs. Some respondents could not distinguish between an ACTs and a monotherapy. This may affect the exact application of the malaria treatment protocols, especially at the PHC level.

 
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