Health worker and policy-maker perspectives on use of intramuscular artesunate for pre-referral and definitive treatment of severe malaria at health posts in Ethiopia
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends injectable artesunate given either intravenously or by the intramuscular route for definitive treatment for severe malaria and recommends a single intramuscular dose of intramuscular artesunate or intramuscular artemether or intramuscular quinine, in that order of preference as pre-referral treatment when definitive treatment is not possible. Where intramuscular injections are not available, children under 6 years may be administered a single dose of rectal artesunate. Although the current malaria treatment guidelines in Ethiopia recommend intra-rectal artesunate or alternatively intramuscular artemether or intramuscular quinine as pre-referral treatment for severe malaria at the health posts, there are currently no WHO prequalified suppliers of intra-rectal artesunate and when available, its use is limited to children under 6 years of age leaving a gap for the older age groups. Intramuscular artesunate is not part of the drugs recommended for pre-referral treatment in Ethiopia. This study assessed the perspectives of health workers, and policy-makers on the use of intramuscular artesunate as a pre-referral and definitive treatment for severe malaria at the health post level.
Published in Malaria JournalKeywords: [Treatment]
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