In-depth interviews were held with 101 individuals including health workers, malaria focal persons, and Regional Health Bureaus from Oromia and southern nations, nationalities, and peoples’ region, as well as participants from the Federal Ministry of Health and development partners. An interview guide was used in the data collection and thematic content analysis was employed for analysis.
Key findings from this study are: (1) provision of intramuscular artesunate as pre-referral and definitive treatment for severe malaria at health posts could be lifesaving; (2) with adequate training, and provision of facilities including beds, health posts can provide definitive treatment for severe malaria using intramuscular artesunate where referral is delayed or not possible; (3) health workers at health centres and hospitals frequently use the intravenous route because it allows for co-administration of other drugs, but they find the intramuscular route easier to use at the health post level; (4) the reasons commonly cited against the management of severe malaria using intramuscular artesunate at health post level were: lack of capacity to manage complications and fear of irrational drug use; (5) use of intramuscular artesunate at health post level will require evidence on safety and feasibility before policy shift.
From the perspective of health workers, use of intramuscular artesunate as pre-referral treatment of severe malaria cases at the health post is possible but dependent on training and availability of skilled workers. Use of intramuscular artesunate as definitive treatment at health posts was not supported, however, operational research to establish its feasibility, safety and efficacy was recommended to guide any implementation of such an intervention.
Country: EthiopiaKeywords: Capacity building | Malaria | Case management | Diagnosis | SDG3
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