Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for the routine treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Northern Ghana
Background: Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine is a first line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Ghana. A facility-based study was undertaken to examine the effectiveness of the treatment in the routine health care system.
Methods: The study was undertaken at the Navrongo demographic surveillance area. Patients presenting with acute febrile illness were enrolled after informed consented and confirmation by microscopy. Patients were randomized into supervised group who received treatment under direct observation and unsupervised group which had only the first treatment given under supervision. Treatment was according to bodyweight and 42 days follow-up was undertaken.
Results: A total of 194 patients were enrolled; 54.1% were females and 51% had supervised treatment. The median age and weight were 6.7 years and 20.0 kg respectively. Mean baseline temperature, haemoglobin concentration and parasite density were, 37.6 oC, 11.1 g/dl and 11,098 parasites per microliter of blood respectively. Study completion rate was 93.3%, day 42 polymerase chain reaction-unadjusted adequate clinical and parasitological responses rate (ACPR) was 93.4% by evaluable and 87.1 % by intention-to-treat (ITT). The day 42 ACPR by evaluable was 92.3% in the supervised arm compared to 94.4% in the unsupervised arm. The day 42 ACPR by ITT was 85.7% in the supervised and 88.5% in the unsupervised arms. The fever resolution and haemoglobin concentration changes for the two arms were similar.
Conclusions: The results show that dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine is effective and good first-line antimalarial in the routine health delivery system.
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