Malaria Chemoprophylaxis for Travelers: The Knowledge of Physicians in the State of Qatar, 2017

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar

2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Weil Cornell Medicine, Doha, Qatar

3 Community Medicine Residency Program, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

4 Ministry of Public Health, Doha, Qatar

Abstract

Introduction: Malaria is among the most significant travel-related infections encountered by travelers to endemic countries in terms of morbidity and mortality. In Qatar, imported malaria has increased over the last 5 years; 493 travel-related cases were confirmed in 2016. In the current study, the knowledge of malaria chemoprophylaxis among physicians in the State of Qatar was assessed.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted during a national travel health workshop at the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar. Physicians participating in the workshop from different national healthcare institutions providing travel medicine services were invited to voluntarily complete a self-administered, structured questionnaire.
Results: Forty-two medical doctors participated in the study (92 response rate). Based on their specialty, almost two-thirds (64.3%) of the participants were family medicine physicians, and one-fifth (21.43%) were general practitioners. Furthermore, most of the doctors were untrained in travel medicine. The majority of participants demonstrated a good knowledge of the malaria parasite (100%), Plasmodium species (64.3%), incidence (83.3%), transmission (66.7%), and drug-resistance (95.2%) of malaria. Additionally, most physicians (>90) were knowledgeable about the major features of severe or complicated malaria as well as malaria prevention and chemoprophylaxis.
Conclusion: This study highlights several areas of good knowledge on travel-related malaria prophylaxis and prevention among the study participants; however, there are still a few knowledge gaps that require mitigation. Continuing training programs on malaria prevention in travelers will sustain this good level of knowledge among physicians and improve the quality of pre-travel advice provided by travel medicine practitioners in Qatar.

Keywords


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