Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
OSORIO-DE-CASTRO, Claudia Garcia Serpa et al. Uncomplicated malaria treatment in the Brazilian Amazon: knowledge, practices and perceptions of health workers in high-incidence municipalities. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, suppl.1, pp.1445-1456. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000700080.
Malaria control in Brazil is based on early diagnosis and adequate and timely treatment as strategies for a rapid and long-lasting cure. Clinical consequences and resistance to antimalarials may arise from problems in prescribing, dispensing and in acceptance of therapeutic regimens by healthcare workers. We studied knowledge and practices, perceptions and attitudes of health workers participating in pharmaceutical services for malaria, regarding the official protocol and the possible flaws in therapy. Health workers from six municipalities in the Brazilian Amazon were interviewed. Speech analysis was employed as a technique to determine analytical categories and to organize data. There was only 1 physician among the 63 interviewees, the others were health technicians carrying out diagnosis, therapy indication and dispensing of antimalarial treatment. Training time and period since course completion varied. Flaws in the adherence to the national protocol included therapy indication, dispensing and counseling. Health workers need knowledge to face disease and treatment specificities. Holding accountable health workers that are unprepared and unfit for the job may indicate the need for adequacy in policies regarding adequate training and hiring of human resources.
Keywords : Malaria; Antimalarials; Pharmaceutical services; Healthcare workers; Brazilian Amazon.