Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1998 Sep; 59(3): 376-9.
Use of antimalarial drugs in Mali: policy versus reality.
Division of Geographic Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.
Inappropriate use of antimalarial drugs undermines therapeutic efficacy and promotes the emergence and spread of drug-resistant malaria. Strategies for improving compliance require accurate information about current practices. Here we describe Knowledge-Attitude-Practice surveys conducted among health providers and consumers in two Malian villages, one rural and one periurban. All sanctioned providers limited their first choices of antimalarial drug to those recommended by the national malaria control program and reported using correct dosing regimens. However, the majority of consumers in the two villages chose non-recommended treatments for malaria and reported suboptimal treatment regimens when they did use recommended drugs. Antimalarial drugs were also widely available from unsanctioned sources, often accompanied by erroneous advice on dosing regimens. This study demonstrates that even when the most peripheral health providers are well-trained in correct use of antimalarial drugs, additional measures directly targeting consumers will be required to improve drug use practices.