Compliance with antimalaria chemoprophylaxis in a combat zone.Am J Trop Med Hyg 2012; 86(4):587-90AJ
Compliance with malaria chemoprophylaxis by military service members (MSMs) is notoriously low, ranging from 30% to 56%. Our objective was to determine the rate of compliance and reasons for non-compliance with malaria chemoprophylaxis among healthy US MSMs in Afghanistan. An eight-question, anonymous online survey was used to collect data regarding the compliance of healthy MSMs with malaria chemoprophylaxis. E-mail surveys were sent to 1,200 MSMs; 528 (44%) MSMs completed the survey. One-time daily doxycycline was the most commonly prescribed chemoprophylaxis (90%); 60% (N = 318) responded that they were compliant with their chemoprophylaxis as prescribed, whereas 40% (N = 221) indicated that they were not compliant. Compliance with daily dosing was 61% and weekly dosing was 38%. The most common reasons for non-compliance were gastrointestinal effects (39%), forgetfulness (31%), and low perception of risk (24%). Malaria chemoprophylaxis compliance by healthy MSMs in Afghanistan is poor. Side effects, forgetfulness, and lack of education are contributing factors. Commanders bear the primary responsibility for the health of their soldiers, and the individual MSM bears personal responsibility; however, additional public health interventions could possibly have a positive impact on prevention.