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© The Author 2015. Background: In 2003, a study in Mali showed that 87% of episodes of uncomplicated malaria were first treated at home. We investigated whether treatment-seeking patterns in Mali had changed 10 years later. Methods: In 2013, we repeated the retrospective treatment-outcome study on 400 children with presumed malaria in the same area. Results: Most childrenwith reported uncomplicatedmalariawere still first treated at home (76%[196/258] in 2013 vs 85% in 2003; p=0.006), rather than in modern health centres (20% [52/258] in 2013 vs 12% in 2003; p=0.01). Overall, 58%of childrenwith uncomplicatedmalariawere treatedwith herbalmedicine alone, a significant increase from24%10 years earlier (p < 0.001). Thiswas associatedwith an increase in use of Argemone mexicana decoction from 8% to 26% (p < 0.001), with a reported cure or improvement in 100% of cases among those aged > 5 years. For severe malaria, first treatment was sought less often from a traditional healer compared with 10 years earlier (4% vs 32%; p < 0.001) and more often from a modern health centre (29% vs 17%; p=0.04). Conclusions: Two trends that emerged are that there is a greater use of modern health facilities for treatment of severe malaria, and a greater use of traditional medicine alone for treatment of uncomplicated malaria.

Original publication




Journal article


Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Publication Date





209 - 213