Zambia continues to advance on the path to elimination with significant reductions in malaria morbidity and mortality. Crucial components that have contributed to progress thus far and are necessary for achieving the national malaria elimination goals include properly identifying and treating all malaria cases through accurate diagnosis. This study sought to compare and assess the diagnostic performance of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) and Light Microscopy (LM) with photo-induced electron transfer polymerase chain reaction (PET-PCR) as the gold standard using 2018 Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) data across Zambia to better understand diagnostic accuracy metrics and how these vary across a transmission gradient.
In 2002, Zambia withdrew chloroquine as first-line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria due to increased treatment failure and worldwide spread of chloroquine resistance. The artemisinin combination regimen, artemether–lumefantrine, replaced chloroquine (CQ) as first choice malaria treatment. The present study determined the prevalence of CQ resistance molecular markers in the Pfcrt and Pfmdr1 genes in Eastern Zambia at 9 and 13 years after the removal of drug pressure.
There are a variety of approaches being used for malaria surveillance. While active and reactive case detection have been successful in localized areas of low transmission, concerns over scalability and sustainability keep the approaches from being widely accepted. Mobile health interventions are poised to address these shortcomings by automating and standardizing portions of the surveillance process. In this study, common challenges associated with current data aggregation methods have been quantified, and a web-based mobile phone application is presented to reduce the burden of reporting rapid diagnostic test (RDT) results in low-resource settings.
Widespread insecticide resistance to pyrethroids could thwart progress towards elimination. Recently, the World Health Organization has encouraged the use of non-pyrethroid insecticides to reduce the spread of insecticide resistance. An electronic tool for implementing and tracking coverage of IRS campaigns has recently been tested (mSpray), using satellite imagery to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the enumeration process. The purpose of this paper is to retrospectively analyse cross-sectional observational data to provide evidence of the epidemiological effectiveness of having introduced Actellic 300CS and the mSpray platform into IRS programmes across Zambia.
While mortality from malaria continues to decline globally, incidence rates in many countries are rising. Within countries, spatial and temporal patterns of malaria vary across communities due to many different physical and social environmental factors. To identify those areas most suitable for malaria elimination or targeted control interventions, we used Bayesian models to estimate the spatiotemporal variation of malaria risk, rates, and trends and determine areas of high or low malaria burden compared to their geographical neighbours.
The Barotse floodplains of the upper Zambezi River and its tributaries are a highly dynamic environment, with seasonal flooding and transhumance presenting a shifting mosaic of potential larval habitat and human and livestock blood meals for malaria vector mosquitoes. However, limited entomological surveillance has been undertaken to characterize the vector community in these floodplains and their environs. Such information is necessary as, despite substantial deployment of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) against Anopheles vectors, malaria transmission persists across Barotseland in Zambia’s Western Province.
The World Health Organization recommends the provision of intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) at 4-week intervals from gestational week 13 to delivery in areas of moderate to high malaria transmission intensity. However, the effect of IPTp-SP has been compromised in some areas due to parasite resistance, raising the importance of parasitological and chemoprophylactic surveillance, and monitoring SP-resistance markers in the Plasmodium falciparum population.
The role of climate change on global malaria is often highlighted in World Health Organisation reports. We modelled a Zambian socio-environmental dataset from 2000 to 2016, against malaria trends and investigated the relationship of near-term environmental change with malaria incidence using Bayesian spatio-temporal, and negative binomial mixed regression models.
The global malaria burden has decreased substantially, but gains have been uneven both within and between countries. In Zambia, the malaria burden remains high in northern and eastern regions of the country. To effectively reduce malaria transmission in these areas, evidence-based intervention strategies are needed. Zambia's National Malaria Control Centre conducted targeted indoor residual spraying (IRS) in 40 high-burden districts from 2014 to 2016 using the novel organophosphate insecticide pirimiphos-methyl.
Imported malaria is a major challenge for countries that are in malaria elimination stage such as Zambia. Legitimate cross-border activities add to the risk of transmission, necessitating determination of prevalence, characteristics and risk factors of imported and local malaria.