Intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in children living in areas with seasonal transmission
Administering antimalarial drugs to prevent malaria in children during the malaria transmission season
Martin M Meremikwu1,*, Sarah Donegan2, David Sinclair2, Ekpereonne Esu3, Chioma Oringanje4
Intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in children living in areas with seasonal transmission. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD003756.
To read the full review please follow this link: DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003756.pub4.
1 University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Department of Paediatrics, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
2 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, International Health Group, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
3 University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Effective Health Care Research Programme - Nigeria, Calabar, Nigeria
4 University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Institute of Tropical Disease Research and Prevention, Calabar, Cross River, Nigeria
In areas where malaria is common, younger children have repeated episodes of malarial illness, which can sometimes be severe and life-threatening. In areas where malaria is seasonal, a practical policy option is to give drugs to prevent malaria at regular intervals during the transmission season, regardless of wether the child has malaria symptoms or not. This is known as Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPTc).
The authors identified seven trials (12,589 participants); all were conducted in West Africa, and six of seven trials were restricted to children aged less than 5 years. The results show IPTc prevents three quarters of all malaria episodes, including severe episodes, and probably prevents some deaths.
Several antimalarial drugs or combinations have been tried, and shown to be effective. The most studied is amodiaquine plus sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (AQ+SP). This combination probably doesn't have serious side effects but does cause vomiting in some children.