Health News of 2014-07-23

Resist malaria treatment if you are not tested – WHO

Mr Samuel Addo, Sunyani Municipal Disease Control Officer, has advised the public to resist treatment for malaria from health providers if they were not tested and confirmed.

According to the World Health Organisation, it is mandatory for health providers to test every suspected case of malaria before treatment and those who failed to do so commit an offence. Mr Addo gave the advice during training on Good Diagnostic Practices on Malaria for laboratory technicians, health workers, providers and prescribers in Sunyani on Tuesday.

It was organised by Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a health centered Non-Governmental Organisation. Mr Addo observed with concern that it had become a norm that health workers and providers did not test to see if the patients had the malaria parasite, but rather they presumed that anyone with fever had malaria.

The challenge with clinical diagnosis, he said, was that many different illnesses caused fever and other symptoms common to malaria. Mr Addo said patients who sought clinical care for malaria had enormous role to play in ensuring that health workers strictly adhered to testing before drugs were administered.

He said if suspected cases of malaria proved negative after testing, health workers ought to follow up with another test in three or four days to confirm. Mr Addo said when every patient with fever was treated for malaria, anti-malaria drugs got wasted and the worse of it was that people with other illnesses did not get the right treatment for the illness they had.

Mr Andrew Yilob-Chireh, Brong-Ahafo Regional Coordinator of HFFG, said the training formed part of a two-year project the NGO was undertaking with support from DFID, a United Kingdom aid.

He explained that the project, being implemented in about 100 communities in Brong-Ahafo, was aimed at helping to ensure that about 70 per cent of all suspected malaria cases were tested and confirmed before treatment. Mr Yilob-Chireh appealed to stakeholders, especially those in the implementing communities, to support the project to achieve the set targets.