Outpatient treatment of malaria in recently arrived African migrants

D.T. Chih, Christopher Heath, R.J. Murray

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    Objective: To describe the clinical features and management of African. migrants recently arrived in Western Australia and subsequently diagnosed with malaria.Design, participants and setting: Retrospective case record analysis of African migrants aged >= 16 years with malaria referred to Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) from the WA Migrant Health Unit (MHU) between 1 March 2003 and 30 September 2005.Main outcome measures: Demographic variables; clinical and laboratory variables; Plasmodium species; antimalarial medications used and their efficacy.Results: 57 (3.5%) of 1609 adult African migrants screened at the MHU were diagnosed with malaria and referred for treatment. 52 were infected with P falciparum, two with P ovale, one with P malariae, and one with both P falciparum and P. malariae; the malaria parasite could not be identified in one individual. No patients had severe malaria by World Health Organization criteria. Most patients (53/57) were treated as outpatients with oral antimalarial therapy; four patients without severe malaria were admitted to hospital for treatment and observation. Atovaquone-proguanil was the antimalarial medication most commonly used (in 52/57), and treatment was well tolerated in most patients. Post-treatment follow-up was possible in 50 patients; all 27 of those who were followed for 4 weeks or longer were cured. Curb could not be concluded in patients with shorter follow-up periods. All follow-up blood films were negative for malarial parasites.Conclusions: Outpatient treatment of malaria in recently arrived adult African migrants appeared to be safe and efficacious in our cohort.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)598-601
    JournalMedical Journal of Australia
    Issue number11/12
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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