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The MalariaWorld Journal

Economic impact of malaria treatment on resource-limited households in Akwa Ibom: A case of selected LGAs

October 10, 2021 - 15:32 -- Nsikan Affiah
Author(s): 
Nsikan Affiah, Ndifreke James, Sunkanmi Fadoju, Idara James, Chimankpam Uzoma
Reference: 
Background: Up to 97% of the population in Nigeria live under the risk of malaria and 76% in high transmission areas; 50% of the population estimated to have at least one episode of malaria yearly, with the incidence of about 2 to 4 episodes among children every year. The expenditure on malaria represents over 40% of curative healthcare costs with catastrophic impact on the microeconomic level where households are represented. 
Objectives: To determine the economic cost of treating malaria and the health-seeking behaviour of households in Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.

Research: Cambodia malaria indicator survey 2020: Implications for malaria elimination

July 9, 2021 - 15:26 -- MalariaWorld Journal
Author(s): 
Soy T. Kheang, Ir Por, Siv Sovannaroth, Lek Dysoley, Huch Chea, Ly Po, Hala J. AlMossawi, Abu Al Imran, Neeraj Kak
Reference: 
MWJ2021,12,5

Cambodia has made significant progress in controlling malaria in the past decade. It now aims to eliminate malaria from the country by 2025. It launched the Malaria Elimination Action Framework (MEAF 2016-2020) in 2015 with strong political commitment targeting appropriate interventions on high-risk populations, particularly mobile and migrant groups. In 2020, the household-level Cambodia Malaria Survey 2020 (CMS 2020) was conducted with the objective to assess the performance of malaria control activities using the indicators outlined in MEAF 2016-2020. The survey used a cross-sectional probability proportional to size approach drawing 4,000 households from 100 villages across the malaria-endemic districts of the country.

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Research: Rapid diagnostic testing as an indicator of malaria prevalence in Rorya District, Tanzania

July 7, 2021 - 13:25 -- MalariaWorld Journal
Author(s): 
Will R. Geisen, Cheryl Bartone, Deborah Gerdes, Christopher Lewis
Reference: 
MWJ2021,12,4

Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT), a point-of-care, qualitative test for Plasmodium antigen, has been a catalyst in the diagnosis of patients in malaria-endemic regions. While blood-smear microscopy remains the gold standard, RDT allows for swift diagnosis in resource-poor settings. Our study sought to utilize RDT to quantify local malaria prevalence in the Rorya district of Tanzania. Two field clinics were established and 1,032 patients were screened. Those that described malaria symptoms were tested via RDT. The percentage of positive tests was compared to national data from the World Health Organization’s 2019 World Malaria report and the President’s Malaria Initiative Report for Tanzania. Intake data (sex, age, heart rate (HR), and temperature) were compared between the malaria-positive and malaria-negative groups. 772 patients received RDT of whom 487 tested positive. There was a statistically significant difference in the percentage of positive patients between the two sites (52.0% vs 38.2%). Sixty percent of malaria-positives were female and the median age of this group was 10 yrs (range 5-15 yrs). Intake data showed a notable difference in median heart rates between malaria-positive and malaria-negative persons, 84.0 (72-100) and 72.0 (74-84) beats per minute (bpm), respectively. The prevalence of malaria in Rorya was significantly higher than the reported Tanzanian average. Additionally, children were at a statistically higher risk of contracting malaria. Our data indicates that RDT offers enhanced insight into the local malarial burden that may be valuable to (governmental) health providers for the disbursement of resources in malaria-endemic regions.

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Opinion: What underscored successful malaria elimination in Palestine 100 years ago? Effective Education

June 25, 2021 - 15:48 -- MalariaWorld Journal
Author(s): 
Anton Alexander
Reference: 
MWJ2021,12,3

Transmission of malaria by anopheline mosquitoes had been established by 1897, and in 1922, the first start of a successful national malaria elimination campaign began. Until then, only malaria control had been considered anywhere as a feasible project, such malaria control having been conducted primarily through larval source management. From 1922 onwards, in Palestine, by ensuring the breeding sites remained destroyed continuously over years and years, malaria elimination was eventually achieved. However, in order to achieve such continuous destruction, transmission of the disease had to be imaginatively and sensitively explained to all the inhabitants who thereupon willingly accepted the task of ensuring the breeding sites remained destroyed.

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Research: Differences in malaria and haematocrit presentation in children living in different settings, North West Region, Cameroon

June 24, 2021 - 11:43 -- MalariaWorld Journal
Author(s): 
Ebanga Echi J. Eyong, Hyloson Nkwengang, Laurentine Sumo
Reference: 
MWJ2021,12,2

Malaria continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Cameroon. With all efforts being made to eliminate malaria, it is imperative to describe the epidemiology of the disease in different parts of the country in order to inform control policies. This study aimed to present the differences in the prevalence and intensity of malaria and the anaemic status of children living in different areas of the North West region of Cameroon. This study was carried out from April 2016-July 2017. Blood samples were collected from children via finger pricking. Stained thick and thin blood films were examined through microscopy (x100) to detect the presence of parasites and to estimate the geometric mean parasite density (GMPD).

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Opinion: Maximising the impact of house modification with eave tubes for malaria control in Africa

April 13, 2021 - 13:31 -- MalariaWorld Journal
Author(s): 
Bart G.J. Knols, Fredros O. Okumu
Reference: 
MWJ2021,12,1

Insecticide-treated eave tubes represent a new tool to dramatically reduce malaria in Africa, where these were recently evaluated in a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The technology includes simple pieces of PVC piping, and their installation in otherwise closed eaves under the roof, which form the primary entry point for malaria mosquitoes into houses. Given that the trial in Côte d’Ivoire, also included screening of windows, WHO’s Vector Control Advisory Group (VCAG) has dubbed the combined approach ‘lethal house lure’. Eave tubes, in essence, turn the entire house into a ‘lure and kill’ station, providing protection for everyone inside.

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Historical review: Three stepping stones leading to malaria elimination, changing world maps on the way

September 28, 2020 - 13:11 -- MalariaWorld Journal
Author(s): 
Florence V. Dunkel, Anton Alexander
Reference: 
MWJ2020,11,4

Over the course of human history, malaria has been one of the deadliest tropical diseases encountered by humans. Malaria exerts a far more profound influence on progress toward a peaceful life in a given country than have any of the acute epidemic diseases, such as yellow fever. This is because a population stricken with malaria may suffer two negative pressures: acute fatalities from severe malaria, particularly in young children, and long-lasting debilitating symptoms and socio-economic impacts of recurrent and persistent malaria.  Here, we present three successive historical stories, stepping stones, the second and third stones having learnt from the previous one, and which was to eventually lead to successful malaria elimination.

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Review: Artemisia plants, arachidonic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids

July 10, 2020 - 14:37 -- MalariaWorld Journal
Author(s): 
Jérôme Munyangi, Pierre Lutgen
Reference: 
MWJ2020,11,3

Arachidonic acid (AA or ARA) is an extremely important fatty acid involved in cell regulation. It is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (20:4n6) covalently bound in esterified form in membrane phospholipids of most body cells. Following irritation or injury, arachidonic acid is released and oxygenated by enzyme systems leading to the formation of an important group of inflammatory mediators, to the prostaglandins (PGE₂) by the cyclooxygenase enzyme. This paper describes the positive health effects of arachidonic acid on malaria and other tropical diseases.

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Research: Cost-effectiveness of malaria elimination in Sampov Loun Operational District, Cambodia

April 17, 2020 - 11:05 -- MalariaWorld Journal
Author(s): 
Ir Por, Siv Sovannaroth, Alexander Moran, Lek Dysoley, Sokomar Nguon, Om Bunthy, May Sak Meas, Lawrence Barat, Rida Slot, Sharon Thangadurai, Bryan K. Kapella, Saad El-Din Hassan, Ly Po, Sen Sam An, John E. Gimnig, Mary McDowell, Michael Thigpen, Jennifer Armistead, Hala Jassim AlMossawi, Soy Ty Kheang, Neeraj Kak
Reference: 
MWJ2020,11,2


Over the past decade, Cambodia has seen a significant decline in its malaria burden. The government has established the goal of eliminating malaria in the country by 2025. With PMI/USAID support, Cambodia is implementing a package of interventions as part of its efforts. This assessment aimed to describe the cost of malaria elimination activities in Sampov Loun Operational District (OD) between July 2015 and March 2018, to describe the cost per malaria case detected under PMI programming, and to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of the elimination programme per Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) or P. vivax (Pv)/Pf mixed case averted under the Cambodia Malaria Elimination Programme (CMEP) and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative. Opportunity costs of government workers were also assessed to understand the theoretical cost of sustaining this programme through government efforts alone. We conducted an empirical micro-costing analysis based on elimination activities alone using CMEP internal project implementation data and corresponding epidemiologic data from July 2015 to March 2018 and empirical findings from implementation to date. We then constructed a cost model in Microsoft Excel using empirical data and used a cost-effectiveness decision tree to describe programme effective-ness in the first three years of implementation and to estimate efficacy for the subsequent year. The total cost of malaria elimination activities in Sampov Loun OD from July 2015 to March 2018 was $883,096. The cost per case of malaria detected in 2017 was $1,304. Including opportunity costs for government staff from July 2015 to March 2018, the total cost was $926,000. Under continued CMEP implementation, the projected future total cost of the program would be about $110,000 per year, or $0.64 per Sampov Loun resident. The incremental cost-effectiveness of the elimination programme was $28 for every additional Pf or Pv/Pf mix malaria case averted, compared to the no-CMEP proxy. CMEP activities are cost effective compared to the no-CMEP proxy, as shown through an incremental cost-effectiveness of $28 for every additional Pf or Pv/Pf mix malaria case averted. The total cost of the project is 0.93% of the total per capita spending on health in Cambodia and about 5% of all government health expenditure. Continuing investments in malaria will be needed at national level for stewardship and governance and at local level for ensuring programme readiness in case of malaria outbreaks.

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Research: A murine malaria protocol for characterizing transmission blocking benefits of antimalarial drug combinations

April 16, 2020 - 16:13 -- MalariaWorld Journal
Author(s): 
Yehenew A Ebstie, Alain R. Tenoh Guedoung, Annette Habluetzel
Reference: 
MWJ2020,11,1


Current efforts towards malaria elimination include the discovery of new transmission blocking (TB) drugs and identification of compounds suitable to replace primaquine, recommended as transmission blocking post treatment after artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). High through put screening of compound libraries has allowed to identify numerous compounds active in vitro against gametocytes and insect early sporogonic stages, but few studies have been performed to characterize TB compounds in vivo. Here we propose a double TB drug Direct Feeding Assay (2TB-DFA), suitable to assess the combined effects of TB compounds. Plasmodium berghei GFPcon (PbGFPcon), BALB/c mice and Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes were used. Artemisinin (ART) and artesunate (AS) served as examples of artemisinins, NeemAzal® (NA), as a known TB-product with sporontocidal activity. DFA experiments were performed to assess the appropriate time point of administration before mosquito feeding and estimate suitable sub-optimal doses of the three compounds that allow combination effects to be appreciated. Suboptimal dosages, that reduce about 50% of oocyst development, were recorded with ART in the range of 16-30 mg/kg, AS 14-28 mg/kg and NA 31-38mg/kg. Ten hours before mosquito feeding (corresponding to 3.5 days after mouse infection) was determined as a suitable time point for mouse treatment with ART and AS and 1 hour for post-treatment with NA. ART given at 35 mg/kg in combination with NA at 40 mg/kg reduced oocyst density by 94% and prevalence of infection by 59%. Similarly, the combination of ART at 25 mg/kg plus NA at 35 mg/kg decreased oocyst density by 95% and prevalence of infection by 34%. In the 2TB-DFA, conducted with AS (20 mg/kg) and NA (35 mg/kg) the combination treatment reduced oocyst density by 71% and did not affect prevalence of infection. Applying ‘Highest Single Agent’ analysis and considering as readout oocyst density and prevalence of infection, cooperative effects of the combination treatments, compared with the single compound treatments emerged. This study suggests the 2TB-DFA to be suitable for the profiling of new TB candidates that could substitute primaquine as a post-treatment to ACT courses.

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