Fever prevalence and management among three rural communities in the North West Zone, Somalia.
Youssef RM., Alegana VA., Amran J., Noor AM., Snow RW.
Between March and August 2008 we undertook 2 cross-sectional surveys among 1375 residents of 3 randomly selected villages in the district of Gebiley in the North-West Zone, Somalia. We investigated for the presence of malaria infection and the period prevalence of self-reported fever 14 days prior to both surveys. All blood samples examined were negative for both species of Plasmodium. The period prevalence of 14-day fevers was 4.8% in March and 0.6% in August; the majority of fevers (84.4%) were associated with other symptoms including cough, running nose and sore throat; 48/64 cases had resolved by the day of interview (mean duration 5.4 days). Only 18 (37.5%) fever cases were managed at a formal health care facility: 7 within 24 hours and 10 within 24-72 hours of onset. None of the fevers were investigated for malaria; they were treated with antibiotics, antipyretics and vitamins.