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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2000 Dec;94(8):771-8.

Incidence and management of malaria in two communities of different socio-economic level, in Accra, Ghana.

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Department of Community Health, Ghana Medical School, Korle Bu, Accra, Ghana.


Two adjacent communities of differing socio-economic levels were selected, in Accra, Ghana, for the study of the home management of malaria. The youngest child in each selected household, each of which had a child aged < 5 years, was recruited for weekly follow-up, following informed consent. Malaria was the most common condition reported by the 'caregivers' (mothers of the subjects and others caring for the subjects) in each community, with 2.0 episodes of clinical malaria/child during the 9-month study. Most (89%) of the caregivers in the better-off community had been educated beyond primary-school level, but 55% of the caregivers in the poorer community had either received no formal education or only primary-school education. This difference was also reflected by the educational facilities provided to the children studied: 52% of the those in the better-off community attended nurseries, kindergartens or creches, compared with 8% of the children investigated in the poorer community. The proportion of caregivers who purchased drugs without prescription or used left-over drugs to treat clinical malaria in the children was higher in the poorer community (82% v. 53%), and a child from the poorer community was less likely to have been taken to a clinic or hospital to be treated for malaria than a child from the better-off community (27% v. 42%). During the follow-up period two children died, one from each community. Treatment of malaria in young children is likely to be less effective in the poorer community, where a lack of economic access to health services was demonstrated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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