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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 267-273

Patronage and perceived efficacies of artemisinin-based combination therapies and herbal antimalarials in Kumasi, Ghana


1 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kumasi Polytechnic, Kumasi, Ghana
3 Department of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi; Kama Health Service, Kumasi, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Dr. George Asumeng Koffuor
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
Ghana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.194132

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Context: Herbal antimalarials are promising to be a sure way to offset malaria. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the patronage and the perceived efficacies of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) and herbal antimalarials in Ghana. Methods: A cross-sectional survey on this subject was conducted in Kumasi, Ghana, between January and April 2014. Statistical Analysis: Statistical analysis was performed by Pearson's Chi-square analysis; P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Of 500 respondents (46.8% males; 53.2% females) interviewed, 75% were aged between 20 and 40 years. Majority (82.9%) had secondary education although 2.5% had no formal education. Respondents had a good knowledge of the symptoms of malaria; headache (93.8%), fever (99.1%), nausea and vomiting (93.8%), and general body weakness (88.4%) were most frequently mentioned. For malaria therapy, 73.6% use ACTs, while 47.6% use prepackaged or extemporaneous herbal antimalarials; 52.1% of the herbal users had used ACTs before. Commonly used herbs were Phyllanthus fraternus, Vernonia amygdalina, Khaya senegalensis, Azadirachta indica, and Cryptolepis sanguinolenta. Although 69.8% of ACT users recovered from malaria after a complete course, 27.2% recovered after course repetition(s) within 4 weeks. Nearly 82.8% of herbal users recovered fully after taking required quantities as stated by the manufacture, with 17.2% having recurrence. Side effects such as general malaise and dizziness reported by ACT and herbal antimalarial users were 15.3% and 10.1%, respectively. Although there was no significant relationship between preferred antimalarial type and age as well as working status, there was high significant (P ≤ 0.001) relationship with tertiary education. Conclusion: Although both ACTs and herbal antimalarials are highly patronized, a greater percentage of consumers find herbal antimalarials to be more efficacious.


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