Background. Uganda was the first country to scale up Home Based Management of Fever/Malaria (HBM) in 2002. Under HBM pre-packaged unit doses with a combination Sulphadoxine/Pyrimethamin (SP) and Chloroquine (CQ) called "HOMAPAK" are administered to all febrile children by community selected voluntary drug distributors (DDs). In this study, community perceptions, health worker and drug provider opinions about the community based distribution of HOMAPAK and its effect on the use of other antimalarials were assessed. Methods. In 2004, four focus group discussions with mothers and 11 key informant interviews with drug sellers, drug distributors and health workers were conducted in Kasese district, western Uganda. This was complemented by three months of field observations. Results. Caretakers concurred that they were benefiting from the programme. However, according to the information from the DDs and health workers, many caretakers perceived HOMAPAK as a drug of lower quality only meant for first aid. Caretakers also expressed need for other drugs to treat other childhood diseases. The introduction of HOMAPAKs was said not to affect the sale of other allopathic antimalarial drugs in the community. DDs expressed concerns about lack of incentives and facilitation such as torches, gumboots and diagnostic equipment to improve their performance. Conclusion. HBM is well appreciated by the community. However, more efforts are needed to improve uptake of the strategy through systematic community sensitization and community dialogue. This study highlights the potential of community based volunteers if well trained, facilitated and integrated into a functioning local health system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases