Comparative efficacy of antimalarial drugs including ACTs in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria among children under 5 years in Ghana.Acta Trop. 2005 Sep; 95(3):194-203.AT
The emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to commonly used antimalarials such as chloroquine and sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine poses major challenges to malaria control in sub-Saharan Africa. We undertook a study on the efficacy of some antimalarial drugs in 2003 with the view of supporting the National Malaria Control Programme in the review of the antimalarial drug treatment policy in Ghana. Children aged 6-59 months with signs/symptoms of uncomplicated malaria including axillary temperature > or =37.5 degrees C; mono infection with P. falciparum; and parent's willingness to give consent, were randomized into four treatment groups and followed up for a maximum of 28 days. The treatment groups were chloroquine (CHQ), sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP), amodiaquine+artesunate (ADQ+ART) combination, and artemether+lumefantrine (Coartem) combination. Clinical evaluation of 168 children studied showed that cumulative pcr-corrected cure rates on day 28 were 100% for ADQ+ART; 97.5% for coartem, 60% for SP and 25% for CHQ. The artemisinin-based combinations effected rapid fever and parasite clearance. Prevalence of gametocytaemia was highest in the SP group whilst the CHQ group did not show any significant changes in haemoglobin levels during the follow-up period. The findings are in agreement with current recommendations for using artemisinin-based combinations for treating uncomplicated malaria in areas of high CHQ failure such as Ghana.