India contributes to around 4% of the global burden in terms of malaria incidence and deaths and the Government of India aims to eliminate malaria completely by the year 2030.
A better understanding of the current disease management strategies may help in initiating improved malaria control approaches to limit the advent, spread, and intensification of malaria infection.
Objective: Determining doctors’ perception of the management of malaria in their patients
A total of 174 doctors participated in the survey – General practitioners (49%), Dentists (10%), Ayurvedic doctors (8%), Others (33%)
- 47% of the doctors stated that they recommend chloroquine phosphate as the first-line of treatment for malaria, followed by artemisinin-based combination therapies (43%)
- Most of the doctors (64%) consider checking the effectiveness of the drug as the most important while prescribing the drugs
- When asked which factors may be responsible for drug resistance in malaria, 45% of doctors stated it is the incomplete drug regimens, followed by concurrent treatment with multiple antimalarial drugs (31%) and presumptive treatment for malaria (19%)
- Around 89% of doctors believe that having an online portal for malaria awareness will be effective
- According to 71% of the doctors, an online portal for malaria can benefit their patients in educating them about preventive measures, followed by knowing the importance to seek treatment (19%) and the disease symptoms (10%)
Our study reveals that the majority of doctors consider the effectiveness of the drug as the most important factor while prescribing. Most of the doctors feel that incomplete drug regimens form the major factor responsible for drug resistance in malaria. According to doctors, an online portal for malaria can immensely benefit patients.
Initiatives should be taken to strengthen the awareness programs by using online portals. Doctors can educate their patients about the importance of completing the treatment course and guide them for a faster recovery. Additionally, healthcare organizations can contribute to achieving malaria-free India by enhancing access to drugs in remote areas and sub-regional monitoring of anti-malarial drug efficacy and resistance.
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