Malaria control in Bungoma District, Kenya: a survey of home treatment of children with fever, bednet use and attendance at antenatal clinics.Bull World Health Organ. 2001; 79(11):1014-23.BW
To lay the basis for planning an improved malaria control programme in Bungoma District, Kenya.
By means of a cluster sample household survey an investigation was conducted into the home management of febrile children, the use of bednets, and attendance at antenatal clinics.
Female carers provided information on 314 recently febrile children under 5 years of age, of whom 43% received care at a health facility, 47% received an antimalarial drug at home, and 25% received neither. Of the antimalarial treatments given at home, 91% were started by the second day of fever and 92% were with chloroquine, the nationally recommended antimalarial at the time. The recommended dosage of chloroquine to be administered over three days was 25 mg/kg but the median chloroquine tablet or syrup dosage given over the first three days of treatment was 15 mg/kg. The total dosages ranged from 2.5 mg/kg to 82 mg/kg, administered over one to five days. The dosages were lower when syrup was administered than when tablets were used. Only 5% of children under 5 years of age slept under a bednet. No bednets had been treated with insecticide since purchase. At least two antenatal visits were made by 91% of pregnant women.
Carers are major and prompt providers of antimalarial treatment. Home treatment practices should be strengthened and endorsed when prompt treatment at a health facility is impossible. The administration of incorrect dosages, which proved common with chloroquine, may occur less frequently with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, as its dosage regimen is simpler. High levels of utilization of antenatal clinics afford the opportunity to achieve good coverage with presumptive intermittent malaria treatments during pregnancy, and to reach the goal of widespread bednet use by pregnant women and children by distributing nets during antenatal clinic visits.