BACKGROUND: Nowadays, parasite-based diagnosis by microscopy or malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) is universally promoted before malaria treatment. However, studies on adherence of primary caregivers to malaria test results have provided conflicting results. METHODS: The antimalarial and antibiotic prescription rates in patients with suspected malaria at Provincial Hospital of Tete, Mozambique, and the features associated with antibiotic prescription in non-severely ill parasite-negative patients were assessed. RESULTS: In March and April 2010, Plasmodium falciparum malaria was diagnosed by microscopy or RDT in 728 (27.2%) of 2672 patients tested. Almost all malaria patients were prescribed antimalarials and 20% were also given antibiotics. Of 1944 parasite-negative patients, 126 (6.5%) were prescribed antimalarials and 1213 (62.4%) antibiotics. Among non-severely ill parasite-negative patients with complete information (n = 1607), the antibiotic prescription rate was 68.8% and was more frequent with respiratory symptoms and leukocyte counts >10 000/muL (adjusted OR = 1.62, 95% CI 1.18-2.23 and adjusted OR = 2.12, 95% CI 1.66-2.71, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Adherence to malaria test results was good in this reference setting, but antibiotic prescription was relatively frequent in clinically stable non-malaria patients. Optimal management of parasite-negative patients must be further defined along with programmatic deployment of the parasite-based strategy.
|Tijdschrift||Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 2013|