Urban malaria in West Africa is not well documented. While rapid urbanisation may create environmental conditions that favour mosquito breeding, urban pollution may inhibit the growth of Anopheles species. In 1996, the Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival (BASICS) Project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) started building urban community health coalitions in Lagos, Nigeria, to empower communities to provide prompt treatment and appropriate prevention for major causes of childhood morbidity and mortality, including malaria, diarrhoeal disease, acute respiratory infections and vaccine preventable diseases. Intervention against malaria was predicated on national policies that assumed Nigeria was holo-endemic for malaria and that prompt treatment of febrile illness with anti-malarial drugs was an appropriate action. At the suggestion and with the assistance of another USAID programme, the Environmental Health Project (EHP), BASICS embarked on a rapid assessment of the epidemiological, entomological and sociological situation of malaria transmission and case management in three Lagos communities. During April and May 1998, blood film investigation of 916 children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years yielded a parasite prevalence rate of 0.9%. Night knockdown collections of mosquitoes in rooms yielded only C. quinquefasciatus and A. aegypti. The same results were obtained for night landing collections on human bait. Very low densities of A. gambiae larvae were found in breeding sites in Lagos Island (0.7) and Ajegunle (0.3). In contrast, community members, during focus group discussion identified malaria, in it various culturally defined forms, as a major health problem. Among the children examined clinically, 186 (20.3%) reported an illness, which they called "malaria" in the previous two weeks, and 180 had sought treatment for this illness. Data obtained from 303 shops in the area documented that a minimum of US dollars 4,000 was spent on purchases of anti-malarial drugs in the previous week. The implications of these findings for both professional and community education are discussed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||African journal of medicine and medical sciences|
|State||Published - 2001|
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