Antimalarial drug sensitivity patterns in the western province of Zambia. Implications for the management of primary health care (PHC).


The management of acute malaria consists of chemotherapy aimed at restoring the normal function of all organs. Appropriate treatment is dependent upon extensive knowledge of the drug sensitivity patterns of the malaria parasites in the area. This is also important for chemoprophylaxis. Drug sensitivity patterns and recrudescence rates for Mongu (Western Province in Zambia) are suggestive of a likely increase in resistance to both chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (Fansidar). We found RI (19.4%), RII (1.5%) and RIII (4.4%) resistance to chloroquine and RII (4.3%) resistance to Fansidar. This calls for careful consideration of treatment schedules, legislation pertaining to the distribution of drugs in the general public and alternative antimalarial control strategies.