To better manage malaria cases this monsoon, doctors from KEM, Sion and Nair hospitals have drafted a treatment protocol, which includes administering a combination of drugs to malaria patients.
“Monotherapy (single drug) should be avoided and therefore we will be practicing a combination therapy whereby two drugs will be administered,” said Dr AR Pazare, head, medicine department, KEM Hospital.
“Malaria parasite develops resistance to anti-malarial drug chloroquine in some patients. In such instances, an additional drug, doxycycline, will be used,” Dr Pazare added. The combination therapy is expected to prevent deaths in complicated malaria cases. Statistics provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation show that malaria killed 145 people in 2010 and affected 76,755 people. In 2009, 198 deaths and 44,035 cases were reported.
Doctors from the three BMC-run hospitals will practice the protocol drafted at a meeting held at KEM Hospital earlier this week. The protocol mentions evolving a mechanism to ensure that patients complete the course of tablet primaquine for 14 days in cases of vivax malaria. Patients tend to shun the follow-up treatment, said doctors.
The protocol states that high-risk patients – such as construction site workers, likely to get recurrent malaria, should be administered two tablets of chloroquine every Sunday till the end of monsoon. “This will ensure uniformity of malaria treatment in all civic hospitals,” Dr RR Shinde, head of preventive medicine department, KEM Hospital.