Use of Medical Chemoprophylaxis and Antimosquito Precautions in Danish Malaria Patients and their Traveling Companions

Ingolf Mølle, Kent L. Christensen, Per S. Hansen, Ulrik B. Dragsted, Michael Aarup, Mads R. Buhl
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2310/7060.2000.00074 253-258 First published online: 1 September 2000

Abstract

Background The number of malaria cases imported to Denmark has been increasing for some years. To analyze the background for this we assessed the use of protective measures in Danish travelers visiting malarious areas.

Method Post‐travel questionnaires were given during hospitalization to malaria patients, and sent by mail to their traveling companions.

Results In total, 142 persons participated. Only 32% of the travelers used chemoprophylaxis correctly, according to Danish recommendations. Twelve percent of the travelers did not use chemoprophylaxis. Average compliance was 52%. Insufficient drug dosage was reported by 13%, and use of nonrecommended drugs by 7% of the travelers. Thirty‐seven percent used insufficient antimosquito precautions, a problem which often coincided with irregular use of chemoprophylaxis. Malaria patients, sole travelers, and travelers with other ethnical background than Danish, were subgroups using insufficient malaria prophylaxis more frequently than healthy traveling companions.

Conclusion Insufficient use of the available antimalaria precautions by Danish travelers contributes greatly to maintaining a high incidence of imported malaria. Increased attention from physicians in educating travelers is important for optimizing malaria prophylaxis.