Defining the malaria burden in Nchelenge District, northern Zambia using the World Health Organization malaria indicators survey
Van geertruyden, Jean-Pierre
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Malaria journal. - London
, 7 p.
University of Antwerp
Background: Malaria is considered as one of the major public health problems and among the diseases of poverty. In areas of stable and relatively high transmission, pregnant women and their newborn babies are among the higher risk groups. A multicentre trial on the safety and efficacy of several formulations of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) during pregnancy is currently on-going in four African countries, including Zambia, whose study site is in Nchelenge district. As the study outcomes may be influenced by the local malaria endemicity, this needs to be characterized. A cross-sectional survey to determine the prevalence and intensity of infection among <10 years old was carried out in March-April 2012 in Nchelenge district. Methods: The sampling unit was the household where all children < 10 years of age were included in the survey using simple random household selection on a GPS coded list. A blood sample for determining haemoglobin concentration and identifying malaria infection was collected from each recruited child. Results: Six hundred thirty households were selected and 782 children tested for malaria and anaemia. Prevalence of malaria infection was 30.2% (236/782), the large majority (97.9%, 231/236) being Plasmodium falciparum and the remaining ones (2.1%, 5/236) Plasmodium malariae. Anaemia, defined as haemoglobin concentration <11 g/dl, was detected in 51.2% (398/782) children. Conclusion: In Zambia, despite the reported decline in malaria burden, pockets of high malaria endemicity, such as Nchelenge district, still remain. This is a border area and significant progress can be achieved only by concerted efforts aimed at increasing coverage of current control interventions across the border.