Long-lasting insecticidal hammocks for controlling forest malaria: a community-based trial in a rural area of central Vietnam
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
, p. e7369,1-e7369,10
University of Antwerp
Background In Vietnam, malaria remains a problem in some remote areas located along its international borders and in the central highlands, partly due to the bionomics of the local vector, mainly found in forested areas and less vulnerable to standard control measures. Long Lasting Insecticidal Hammocks (LLIH), a tailored and user-friendly tool for forest workers, may further contribute in reducing the malaria burden. Their effectiveness was tested in a large community-based intervention trial carried out in Ninh Thuan province in Central Vietnam. Methods and Findings Thirty villages (population 18,646) were assembled in 20 clusters (1,000 individuals per cluster) that were randomly allocated to either the intervention or control group (no LLIH) after stratification according to the pre-intervention P. falciparum antibody prevalence (<30%; ≥30%). LLIH were distributed to the intervention group in December 2004. For the following 2 years, the incidence of clinical malaria and the prevalence of infection were determined by passive case detection at community level and by bi-annual malariometric surveys. A 2-fold larger effect on malaria incidence in the intervention as compared to the control group was observed. Similarly, malaria prevalence decreased more substantially in the intervention (1.6-fold greater reduction) than in the control group. Both for incidence and prevalence, a stronger and earlier effect of the intervention was observed in the high endemicity stratum. The number of malaria cases and infections averted by the intervention overall was estimated at 10.5 per 1,000 persons and 5.6/100 individuals, respectively, for the last half of 2006. In the high endemicity stratum, the impact was much higher, i.e. 29/1000 malaria cases and 15.7 infections/100 individuals averted. Conclusions LLIH reduced malaria incidence and prevalence in this remote and forested area of Central Vietnam. As the targets of the newly-launched Global Malaria Action Plan include the 75% reduction of the global malaria cases by 2015 and eventually the elimination/eradication of malaria in the long term, LLIH may represent an additional tool for reaching such objectives, particularly in high endemicity areas where standard control tools have a modest impact, such as in remote and forested areas of Southeast Asia and possibly South America.