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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-100

The use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) in public secondary health facilities in Lagos, Nigeria

Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos,Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
I A Oreagba
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos,Idi-Araba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the study were to assess the prescription pattern of Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs) in uncomplicated malaria and the knowledge, attitude and practice of physicians as regards use of ACTs in the outpatient clinics of public secondary health facilities in Lagos State. PATIENTS AND METHODS: All the ten General Hospitals under the Lagos State Health Management Board were studied and classified as either rural or urban. 1878 retrospective antimalarial prescriptions of outpatients between March, 2005--March, 2006 were systematically sampled and questionnaires were distributed to prescribers in April--May, 2006. Prescription assessment was based on the recent Nigerian National Antimalarial Treatment Policy and WHO/INRUD drug use indicators. RESULTS: The percentage of prescriptions containing ACTs was found to be rather small (5.9%) inspite of the high proportion (59.2%) of prescribers who were favourably disposed to the National antimalarial policy change from Chloroquine to ACTs as first line. There was no statistically significant difference in frequency of ACTs prescription between the rural and urban health facilities. The prescription of Artemisinin derivatives as monotherapy was 18.2%. The prescription of Chloroquine was found to be more predominant, (48.8%) in all the health facilities. CONCLUSION: Despite the national policy change from Chloroquine to (ACTs) as the first line antimalarial, their use in the public secondary health facilities in Lagos State does not reflect this policy change and it appears that Chloroquine still remains the choice antimalarial drug.

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