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Prevalence of Malaria Positive Rapid Diagnostic Test and Antimalarial Treatment in Patients with Fevers in the Accident and Emergency Unit of Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Western Region, Ghana

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DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1103097    920 Downloads   1,275 Views

ABSTRACT

Background: Rapid diagnostic test (RDT) is a simpler, easy to read malaria diagnostic test. It was introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) to supplement the use of microscopy and can be used alone in areas where microscopy is unavailable. Its introduction was necessary to maintain the WHO test-based treatment protocol for malaria, as dependence of microscopy which is the gold standard is not possible in many areas in Sub-Saharan Africa which lack the wherewithal to run efficient laboratory services. WHO strongly recommends that only patients with parasitological confirmation of malaria should be treated with antimalarial drugs. In this study, the prevalence of malaria positive RDT and antimalarial treatment was evaluated in patients presenting with fevers at the outpatient section of the accident and emergency unit of the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Ghana. Methodology: This was a retrospective study carried out in the outpatient section of the accident emergency unit of Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital. The outpatient register was reviewed from October 2014 to March 2015, for patients who came with fever. Data on demographics, malaria RDT status and antimalarial treatment were collected and analyzed. Result: A total of 607 patients with fever had their RDT performed. Of these, 131 (21.58%) were positive for malaria while 467 (78.42%) were negative. Out of the 131 tested positive, 55 represented patients above 12 years and 76 represent children aged 0 to12 years, p = 0.002. Fifty children under the age of 5 years tested positive for malaria whereas 26 were above the age 5 years, p = 0.03. All the 131 positive patients were treated for malaria while 276 out of 476 negative patients were also treated for malaria, p < 0.001. Conclusion: Patients positive for malaria RDT in this study were lower. Children were more positive for malaria than adults, with those under 5 years constituting the majority. This study also shows that indiscriminate malaria prescription is still a problem, a situation that should be tackled immediately, to prevent malaria parasite being resistant to current antimalarial drugs.

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Orish, V. , Ofori-Amoah, J. , Afeke, I. , Jamfaru, I. , Adongo, D. and Amegan-Aho, K. (2016) Prevalence of Malaria Positive Rapid Diagnostic Test and Antimalarial Treatment in Patients with Fevers in the Accident and Emergency Unit of Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Western Region, Ghana. Open Access Library Journal, 3, 1-8. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1103097.

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