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Research: The current status of infrastructure for monitoring the efficacy of antimalarial therapeutics in Zambia

September 23, 2014 - 13:54 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Ellah Zingani, Satoshi Inoue, Lungwani Tyson M. Muungo
MWJ2014, 5, 9
Article type: 
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the current status of malaria diagnosis and treatment, and to monitor the therapeutic efficacy of antimalarial drugs. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted from 2011 to 2013 at 10 district hospitals in Zambia designated as malaria sentinel sites as well as at the National Malaria Control Centre. Although basic infrastructure necessary for monitoring antimalarial drug resistance (such as laboratory, dispensary, admission ward, database unit, administration offices, bed space, examination and emergency rooms) was present at all sites, there was a shortage of licensed healthcare personnel. At some sites, antimalarial drugs were prescribed for malaria-like symptoms without diagnostic confirmation by blood smear. There was no regular monitoring of antimalarial drug resistance: only one trial was conducted among all sites in the previous 24 months. A lack of antimalarial drug resistance monitoring might be associated with personnel and funding shortages. Additional financial support would be necessary to avoid the development and spread of drug-resistant malaria in Zambia.

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