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Bringing Malaria to a halt: Improved treatment outcome through support from Malaria Action Program for States

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Dr. Ibijoke Oluyomi Campbell, Chief Consultant Paediatrician, Oni Memorial Children’s Specialist Hospital, Ibadan, has always enjoyed working with children. Seeing first-hand the agony parents go through when their precious little ones are running extremely high temperatures as a result of severe malaria attack triggered her interest in new innovations in malaria case management. Her hope and aspiration has been that she can help take away the pain of the many children afflicted with malaria and contribute to reducing the number of children dying from preventable and improperly treated malaria.

Her joy can best be imagined when the Malaria Action Program for States (MAPS) project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), identified her for a training on the management of severe malaria. The training among other things was geared towards bringing private and public health facilities abreast with new innovations in malaria case management which has seen the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and the National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP) adopting artesunate injection as the preferred option for management of severe malaria. Prior to this intervention in October 2013, Dr. Campbell and other clinical staff of Oni Memorial Children Hospital had struggled with managing the numerous malaria cases following the previous treatment protocol.

Dr. Campbell therefore participated with others in a training of trainers (TOT) organized by the MAPS project team in Oyo state on management of severe malaria. The facilities were equally supported with free supply of artesunate injection and other anti-malarial commodities. Following her completion of the training, she went ahead to step down the training to clinical staff of the facility. Dr Campbell shares her experiences on how the training has impacted service provision and improved treatment outcomes in her facility…

“My participation in the TOT on the management of severe malaria in October 2013 was a turning point in my professional career. I wish the training had happened earlier considering the number of children we had lost through inappropriate treatment and lack of resources. We are no longer losing the children as much as before. No more looking out for hypoglycaemia.”

The management of Oni Memorial Children Hospital re-echoed Dr. Campbell’s assertions by confirming that treatment of severe malaria with artesunate injection was the best thing that has happened to the facility. Mortality rate due to malaria deaths dropped significantly. There is now improved treatment and care, shorter hospital stay and cost effectiveness. This new treatment protocol has totally changed the dynamics on case management and treatment outcome for children brought to the hospital with severe malaria

 

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