Severe malaria management: current situation, challenges and lessons learned from Gezira State, Sudan.

14 May 2019
Elnour FA, Alagib MEA, Bansal D, Farag EABA, Malik EM


The present study aimed to evaluate the management of severe malaria at Gezira State hospitals in Sudan by assessing hospital readiness, health care provider knowledge and the care received by severe malaria patients.


A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed to assess the severe malaria management practices at hospitals level in Gezira State. The study population included hospitals, health care providers and patients. Data was collected using checklists and structured questionnaires.


A total of 20 hospitals, 158 health care providers and 370 patients were included in the study. Out of the total hospitals, 95% (19/20) were providing 24 h outpatient services, 65% (13/20) had ICU units, while triage system was found in only 35% (7/20) of hospitals. From all hospitals evaluated, 90% (18/20) were suffering from shortage of staff, especially doctors. About half of the health care providers (46.7%) did not receive severe malaria management training. The average knowledge score among health care providers was 55.4%. Microscopy was available in all hospitals (100%), while rapid diagnostic test, complete blood count and renal function test were available in 15 hospitals (75%). Fever was the most presenting symptom (97.8%) followed by repeated vomiting (51.4%), convulsion in children (24.3%) and prostration in adult (57.9%). Correctly diagnosed patients were 68.9%. Essential tests were done for only 11.1% of patients. Majority of patients (91.7%) were treated with quinine, 5.9% received artemether, while 2.4% were treated with artemether-lumefantrine. Those who received both the correct dose and dosing regimen were 53.8%. The overall compliance to guidelines was 2.2%.


This study highlights the fact that management of severe malaria at hospital level was suboptimal with serious shortcomings in the different aspects of care particularly in specialized hospitals. Technical staff was inadequate, hospitals were anguish from defective emergency services, and most patients were not treated according to the national guidelines.