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Malaria N 2 - Subject N 8

A. Same Ekobo, J. Lohoue, M. Mbangue, H. Gonsu & O. Bassong

In order to appreciate the profile of malaria in the adult in an urban environment, this study reports on the clinical, laboratory and socio-economic data which distinguishes acute bouts of malaria in the adult at Yaoundé. Out of a group of 70 patients aged over 19 years, 26 (27%), presented with bouts of frank acute malaria versus 44 (63%) who were only slightly symptomatic. Fifty had taken an antimalarial treatment before consultation and 20 had taken no treatment. Self medication was taken in 72% of cases and a medical prescription was given in 28% of cases. The most commonly used products during self medication were chloroquine (28%) and quinine (24%). From the laboratory standpoint, parasitaemia was generally slight, less than 5%, whilst the clinical picture was dominated by a change in the overall state of the patient. According to socio-economic status, bouts increase as the less educated the patient becomes; parasitaemia is higher in patients with low income whilst self medication predominates in the better housing developments. Family density and the number of dependents were not factors influencing illness or self medication. The difference as a function of gender varies with marital status: unmarried women suffer from more malarial bouts than their male counterparts whilst married women are less affected than married men.
In conclusion, in the urban area of Yaoundé, adult malaria has quite stereotyped clinical, laboratory and socio-economic characteristics which are easy to influence with a well adapted health education adjusted to differing social classes.

KEY-WORDS: Malaria, Adult, Yaoundé, Self medication, Parasitemia, Income, Housing

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