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This study is a response to the challenge of malaria infections, which remain a major public health in South Africa. Reports of malarial outbreaks in the country have been predominant in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo provinces. Currently, combination therapy referred to artemisinin-based combination treatments (ACTs) has been recommended both by the World Health Organization and the National Department of Health of South Africa. However, due to widespread reports of artemisinin resistance, other alternative treatment options were explored.
The aim of the study was thus to establish the efficacy of plasmoquine as an alternative treatment option among malaria patients in Johannesburg, the economic capital of South Africa, found in the Gauteng Province. The study adopted a quantitative approach, and a purposive retrospective investigation was adopted. Patient data from 2018-2022 was analyzed to determine the incidence of malaria in the study location and the efficacy of treatment with plasmoquine. The results of this study, therefore, indicate that P. falciparum is still the main cause of malaria in the study area.
A total of 322 patient files were included in the study, with P. falciparum determined to be the main cause of infection over the four-year data assessed. Furthermore, plasmoquine was determined to be effective in treating malaria among 298 of the study population, with only 24 (7.5%) experiencing the development of vomiting after the treatment course. The findings of the study offer government policymakers the opportunity to develop policies that enhance the re-introduction of Plasmoquine to combat malaria in South Africa.
Author: Mahadi Abdujabar Issa PhD in Public Health Texila American University, Guyana