MWJ2016, 7, 1
Until about 2010, the majority of data collected on malaria in Côte d’Ivoire were based on presumptive cases, particularly in the northern part of the country, where parasitological research had rarely been carried out. The purpose of this study was to determine the actual malaria prevalence amongst presumptive cases admitted to one of the general hospitals in the Northern part of the country, where malaria diagnosis is suboptimal. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the general medicine, maternity and paediatric wards between January and August 2010. Patients of all ages, suspected of having malaria, were included after giving their informed oral consent. Several parameters were investigated: the presence of Plasmodium using thick blood film, HIV/ Plasmodium co-infection, signs of severity, aspects of malaria treatment and other associated factors. Of 379 patients included, with a median age of 4 yrs [range 1 month - 71 yrs], 9% were HIV-positive, 74% were ≤ 15 yrs of age, 60% were urbanised and 23% were using long-lasting insecticide-treated nets. Malaria prevalence was 67.5% and was significantly associated with the rainy season (p < 0.001), age ≤ 5 yrs (p = 0.004) and no cotrimoxazole chemoprophylaxis in HIV-infected patients (p = 0.04). Only P. falciparum was detected, with a mean density of 12,523 trophozoites/μl of blood, but with 12,610 trophozoites/μl of blood in HIV-positive patients and 7,055 trophozoites/μl of blood in HIV-negative patients (p < 0.001). Severe malaria accounted for 77% of cases. Prescribed antimalarial drugs were: IM artemether (56%), quinine (28%), artemether + lumefantrine (10%) and artesunate + amodiaquine (6%). Apyrexia and parasite clearance were observed at day 2-3 post treatment in 87% of patients. Adverse events were reported among 60 patients (17%). The outcome was marked by: a healing rate of 90%, a rate of 5% lost to follow-up and a 7% lethality for severe malaria, significantly associated with the age ≤ 5 yrs (p=0.02), hyperparasitaemia >20% (p=0.004), neurological disorders (p < 0.001) and respiratory distress (p=0.007). Malaria prevalence in the general hospital of Tanda remains high, with a predominance of severe malaria affecting children under the age of 5 yrs.