Optimizing Malaria Treatment in the Community
Over 200 million cases of malaria are reported annually to the WHO, including 627,000 deaths, mostly among children. These alarming figures persist although malaria is an entirely curable infection with currently available medications promptly deployed. Most malaria infections occur in resource-limited rural settings with poor access to medical care. Therefore, one of the primary challenges in optimizing antimalarial treatment is delivery of care to underserved communities. Alternative strategies to physician-guided, laboratory-assisted, diagnosis and treatment will be required in order to reach the large number of cases of uncomplicated malaria that arise in rural communities. The authors suggest that these challenges can be addressed with well-designed programs featuring training of community health workers, increased attention to supply management, and better community engagement. Models of integrated community case management, shown successful elsewhere, should be implemented in order to optimize antimalarial drug treatment for children in low-resource settings.
KeywordsCommunity Health Worker Artemisinin Combination Therapy Febrile Child Drug Shop Malaria RDTs
Artemisinin combination therapy
Community case management for malaria
Community health workers
Integrated community case management
Integrated management of childhood illnesses
Parasite lactate dehydrogenase
Rapid diagnostic tests
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