Community-based program for malaria case management in the Brazilian Amazon.

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  • 1 Health Sciences Department, Federal University of Brasilia, Brazil.

In areas of drug-resistant malaria, control programs may restrict chemotherapy until malaria has been confirmed via microscopy to contain costs and toxicity. In Brazil, patients travel to centralized laboratory posts (FNS) at great cost for diagnosis and treatment. A program was established through the bars of a mining town offering free dipstick diagnosis and mefloquine treatment on a 24-hr basis; falciparum malaria dipstick tests are accurate and easy to use. Outcomes were compared with historical data and results of a neighboring non-intervention village. Guidelines for dipstick use and treatment were followed for 98% of visits. The number of FNS visits was reduced from 2,316 (expected) to 1,097 (observed) with 626 dipstick tests applied. Ninety-five percent of those who visited the FNS experienced onset of malaria symptoms in the town where the FNS was located. There was an unexpected doubling of the malaria hospital admission rate. We demonstrate that dipstick testing can be used in a sustainable, community-based program that should be applicable in a wide variety of settings.