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Malar J. 2009 Oct 24;8:237. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-8-237.

Presumptive treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine versus weekly chloroquine for malaria prophylaxis in children with sickle cell anaemia in Uganda: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Paediatrics, Nsambya Hospital, PO Box 7146 Kampala, Uganda. nakibuukarv@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Malaria carries high case fatality among children with sickle cell anaemia. In Uganda, chloroquine is used for prophylaxis in these children despite unacceptably high levels of resistance. Intermittent presumptive treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) has shown great potential for reducing prevalence of malaria and anaemia among pregnant women and infants.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the efficacy of monthly SP presumptive treatment, versus weekly chloroquine for malaria prophylaxis in children attending the Sickle Cell Clinic, Mulago Hospital.

METHODS:

Two hundred and forty two children with sickle cell anaemia were randomized to presumptive treatment with SP or weekly chloroquine for malaria prophylaxis. Active detection of malaria was made at each weekly visit to the clinic over one month. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of children with one malaria episode at one month follow-up. The secondary outcome measures included malaria-related admissions and adverse effects of the drugs.

RESULTS:

Ninety-three percent (114/122) of the children in the chloroquine group and 94% (113/120) in the SP group completed one month follow up. SP reduced prevalence of malaria by 50% compared to chloroquine [OR = 0.50, (95% CI 0.26-0.97)]; p = 0.042. Six percent (7/122) of the children receiving weekly chloroquine had malaria related admissions compared to 2.5% (3/120) on presumptive treatment with SP. No serious drug effects were reported in both treatment groups

CONCLUSION:

Presumptive treatment with SP was more efficacious than weekly chloroquine in reducing prevalence of malaria in children with sickle cell anaemia. Continued use of chloroquine for malaria chemoprophylaxis in children with sickle cell anaemia in Uganda does not seem to be justified.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00124267.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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