[Health personnel and population practices in the diagnosis of malaria and use of antimalarial drugs in Dakar].Med Trop (Mars). 1995; 55(1):47-50.MT
The practices of health care workers and the population with regard to diagnosis of malaria and use of antimalarial drugs were studied in the city of Dakar from September 1991 to March 1992. Study included 847 heads of family, 191 treatment prescribers including 77 physicians, 53 nurses and 61 midwives, and 60 pharmacists. Three separate questionnaires were used: one for the population, one for physicians and paramedical staff, and one for pharmacists. The data collected showed that the 4 main symptoms used by both health care workers and the general population for diagnosis of malaria were fever, chills, vomiting, and headache. Treatment was administered upon suspicion of infection by 72% of treatment prescribers. Chloroquine was the drug most widely used by prescribers and for self-treatment of malaria. Prophylactic drug treatment was practised by all groups studied except treatment prescribers but was unappropriate for the target groups. Chloroquine is the drug most widely used to protect against the disease. Pharmacists have adequate supplies but distribution is poor. Despite promising results in the fight against malaria, further effort is needed to train health care workers and provide information to the population.