16 July, 2008

Preventive treatment of Malaria reduces anaemia and improves classroom attention in school children

amodiaquine structure
According to a research report published in the current issue of the Lancet, preventive treatment for malaria reduces the prevalence of malaria infection and anaemia among schoolchildren, and significantly improves their classroom attention. However, in contrast to a study done in Sri Lanka, the study did not find improvement in educational achievement among the children.

The study by a team of scientists from Kenya, UK and US, and funded by Gates malaria Partnership was carried out in 30 primary schools in Western Kenya among children aged 5-8 years who were given the treatment at 4 months interval.

The report further observes that even though some children did not complete the dose of treatment because of the bitter taste of the malarial drug amodiaquine, the outcome was similar among the children who received complete and incomplete treatment.

According to the report, the findings illustrate the “possible gains of integrating malaria control into broader school health programmes” and there may need for further research to investigate any long-term educational benefits.

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