Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Malaria prophylaxis: postal questionnaire survey of general practitioners in south east Wales.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 295 doi: (Published 05 December 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;295:1449
  1. A Williams,
  2. D J Lewis
  1. Department of Medicine, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, South Glamorgan.


    Postal questionnaires were sent to 494 general practitioners in south east Wales asking about their experience and understanding of antimalarial prophylaxis; 293 were returned, giving a response rate of 59%. Forty eight (16%) of the respondents reported being consulted by immigrants returning home for advice about malaria prophylaxis, of whom 13 (27%) overestimated the time for which their protective immunity might last after leaving the malarious area. Two hundred and eighty respondents (96%) considered that they were responsible for advising travellers and 195 (67%) would always consult a publication before giving chemoprophylactic advice (magazines were particularly popular), but only 18 (6%) would always consult a specialist centre--the Ross Institute in eight cases (3%), a local centre in 39 (13%). Only about half of the doctors were aware of chloroquine resistance in Kenya and Thailand. Over half would withhold chloroquine in pregnancy, and many chose pyrimethamine alone or sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine as suitable chemoprophylactic drugs, though neither is still recommended by the World Health Organisation. One hundred and ninety two respondents (66%) would give advice about protective measures other than chemoprophylaxis. More must be done to encourage general practitioners to contact specialist centres and to educate them in the use of antimalarial chemoprophylactic drugs.