Previous studies have shown that a single season of intermittent preventive treatment in schoolchildren (IPTsc) targeting the transmission season has reduced the rates of clinical malaria, all-cause clinic visits, asymptomatic parasitemia, and anemia. Efficacy over the course of multiple years of IPTsc has been scantly investigated.
artemisinin-based combination therapies
In Togo, the National Malaria Control Programme, in collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has implemented a pilot study for malaria sentinel surveillance since 2017, which consists of collecting information in real time and analysing this information for decision-making. The first 20 months of malaria morbidity and mortality trends, and malaria case management in health facilities included in the surveillance were assessed.
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as first-line treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria since 2005 in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and a regular surveillance of the ACT efficacy is required to ensure the treatment effectiveness. Mutations in the propeller domain of the pfk13 gene were identified as molecular markers of artemisinin resistance (ART-R).
At the end of November 2019, a novel coronavirus responsible for respiratory tract infections (COVID-19) emerged in China. Despite drastic containment measures, this virus, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), spread in Asia and Europe. The pandemic is ongoing with particular hotspot in Southern Europe and America. Many studies predicted a similar epidemic in Africa as that currently seen in Europe and the United States of America. However, reported data do not confirm these predictions. One of the hypotheses that could explain the later emergence and spread of COVID-19 pandemic in African countries is the use of antimalarial drugs to treat malaria, and more particularly artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).
In the absence of an effective vaccine, the efficacy of antimalarial chemotherapies underpins the success of malaria control programmes. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which combine fast-acting artemisinin derivatives and longer-acting partner drugs, are the mainstay of treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in endemic regions.
Quiescence is an unconventional mechanism of Plasmodium survival, mediating artemisinin resistance. This phenomenon increases the risk of clinical failures following artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) by slowing parasite clearance and allowing the selection of parasites resistant to partner drugs.
Artemisinin and partner-drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum are major threats to malaria control and elimination. Triple artemisinin-based combination therapies (TACTs), which combine existing co-formulated ACTs with a second partner drug that is slowly eliminated, might provide effective treatment and delay emergence of antimalarial drug resistance.
There has been a successful push towards parasitological diagnosis of malaria in Africa, mainly with rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs), which has reduced over-prescribing of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) to malaria test-negative patients. The effect on prescribing for test-positive patients has received much less attention. Malaria infection in endemic Africa is often most dangerous for young children and those in low-transmission settings. This study examined non-prescription of antimalarials for patients with malaria infection demonstrated by positive mRDT results, and in particular these groups who are most vulnerable to poor outcomes if antimalarials are not given.