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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1997 Sep-Oct;91(5):512-7.

A community-based programme to provide prompt and adequate treatment of presumptive malaria in children.

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  • 1Centre National de Lutte contre le Paludisme, Ministère de la Santé, Burkina Faso.


A community-based programme to ensure prompt and adequate treatment of presumptive episodes of clinical malaria in children has been established in a rural province of Burkina Faso. The implementation strategy was based on training a core group of mothers in every village and supplying community health workers with essential antimalarial drugs specially packed in age-specific bags containing a full course of treatment. Drugs were sold under a cost-recovery scheme. The programme was run in 1994 by the national malaria control centre (CNLP), and in 1995 it was developed to the provincial health team (PHT). Knowledge and awareness of malaria increased with the intervention. Drug consumption by age group was compatible with the distribution of disease, and no major problem of misuse emerged. The actual implementation costs of the intervention were US$ 0.06 per child living in the province. An evaluation of the impact of the intervention on the severity of malaria, using routine data from the health information system and taking as an indicator the proportion of malaria cases which were recorded as severe in health centres, was performed. In 1994, when the intervention was implemented on a provincial scale by CNLP, this proportion was lower than the average of the 4 preceding years (3.7% vs. 4.9%). In 1995, when the programme was implemented by the PHT, the proportion of severe cases was lower in health centres achieving a programme coverage of > or = 50% in their catchment area compared with the others (4.2% vs. 6.1%). Our experience shows that a low-cost, community-based intervention aimed at providing children with prompt and adequate treatment of presumptive episodes of clinical malaria is feasible, and suggests that it may lead to a reduction in the morbidity from severe malaria.

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