Prevention, Management and Cost Implications of Malaria in Niger Delta, Southern Nigeria

Ismail A Suleiman1*, Blessing B Onyemeze2, Kehinde A Ganiyu3

 1 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
*Correspondence Author: Ismail A.Suleiman, suleimanismail1@gmail.com, +234 802 3433 337

ABSTRACT

Background: An estimated 97.0% of Nigeria’s population is reported to be at risk of malaria with about 100 million cases and over 300,000 deaths per year. The study evaluated malaria preventive strategies, its treatment as well as cost implications.

Methods: The descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in Yenagoa and Amassoma which are the two most populous towns in Bayelsa State, south-south Nigeria. A self-developed and validated questionnaire on malaria, preventive strategies, and treatment among others was administered to Five hundred and Seventy Four respondents. Information collected and analysed from the questionnaire include occurrence of malaria attack, method of diagnosis, malaria treatment modes, types of medications used, duration of treatment, forms of malaria prevention and cost implications of medication/therapy.

Results: There is high prevalence of malaria among the populace and poor attitude towards prevention in about 40.0% of the respondents. Less than 40.0% of the 123 pregnant subjects had intermittent preventive therapy for malaria using sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine tablet as recommended by World Health Organization for Africa. There was irrational drug therapy in 79.6% of the subjects with wide use of mono-therapy and the use of arthemeter/lumefantrine in only 123 (21.4%). Most of the respondents reported direct out of pocket payment for the recommended anti-malaria remedies. An average of NGN438.75±133.17 (USD2.74±0.83) was spent per subject on antimalarial drugs while the mean treatment cost per patient which represents the total amount claimed to have been spent by respondents for drugs, and consultations in some cases was NGN566.56 (USD3.54). The national cost implication is in excess of about NGN50 billion (USD312 million) for antimalarial drug alone even with wide use of sub optimal mono-therapy.

Conclusion: Prevalence of malaria is very high in the locality and modes of prevention and treatment are suboptimal. Also, Intermittent Preventive Treatment culture among the pregnant women is not encouraging hence, the need to create awareness geared towards improving health seeking behaviours among this special population. The cost implications of malaria therapy are huge and concerted efforts from stakeholders are necessary to reduce incidences thereby minimizing the cost.

 Keywords: malaria; medical expenditure; cost of illness, cost of therapy

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