ABSTRACT: Measuring progress towards Millennium Development Goal 6, including estimates of, and time trends in, the number of malaria cases, has relied on risk maps constructed from surveys of parasite prevalence, and on routine case reports compiled by health ministries. Here we present a critique of both methods, illustrated with national incidence estimates for 2009.
We compiled information on the number of cases reported by National Malaria Control Programs in 99 countries with ongoing malaria transmission. For 71 countries we estimated the total incidence of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax by adjusting the number of reported cases using data on reporting completeness, the proportion of suspects that are parasite-positive, the proportion of confirmed cases due to each Plasmodium species, and the extent to which patients use public sector health facilities. All four factors varied markedly among countries and regions. For 28 African countries with less reliable routine surveillance data, we estimated the number of cases from model-based methods that link measures of malaria transmission with case incidence. In 2009, 98% of cases were due to P. falciparum in Africa and 65% in other regions. There were an estimated 225 million malaria cases (5th-95th centiles, 146-316 million) worldwide, 176 (110-248) million in the African region, and 49 (36-68) million elsewhere. Our estimates are lower than other published figures, especially survey-based estimates for non-African countries.
Estimates of malaria incidence derived from routine surveillance data were typically lower than those derived from surveys of parasite prevalence. Carefully interpreted surveillance data can be used to monitor malaria trends in response to control efforts, and to highlight areas where malaria programs and health information systems need to be strengthened. As malaria incidence declines around the world, evaluation of control efforts will increasingly rely on robust systems of routine surveillance.
PLoS Medicine 12/2011; 8(12):e1001142. · 16.27 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: In Zanzibar, the Ministry of Health and partners accelerated malaria control from September 2003 onwards. The impact of the scale-up of insecticide-treated nets (ITN), indoor-residual spraying (IRS) and artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT) combined on malaria burden was assessed at six out of seven in-patient health facilities.
Numbers of outpatient and inpatient cases and deaths were compared between 2008 and the pre-intervention period 1999-2003. Reductions were estimated by segmented log-linear regression, adjusting the effect size for time trends during the pre-intervention period.
In 2008, for all age groups combined, malaria deaths had fallen by an estimated 90% (95% confidence interval 55-98%)(p < 0.025), malaria in-patient cases by 78% (48-90%), and parasitologically-confirmed malaria out-patient cases by 99.5% (92-99.9%). Anaemia in-patient cases decreased by 87% (57-96%); anaemia deaths and out-patient cases declined without reaching statistical significance due to small numbers. Reductions were similar for children under-five and older ages. Among under-fives, the proportion of all-cause deaths due to malaria fell from 46% in 1999-2003 to 12% in 2008 (p < 0.01) and that for anaemia from 26% to 4% (p < 0.01). Cases and deaths due to other causes fluctuated or increased over 1999-2008, without consistent difference in the trend before and after 2003.
Scaling-up effective malaria interventions reduced malaria-related burden at health facilities by over 75% within 5 years. In high-malaria settings, intensified malaria control can substantially contribute to reaching the Millennium Development Goal 4 target of reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.
Malaria Journal 02/2011; 10:46. · 3.19 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: An increasing number of malaria-endemic African countries are rapidly scaling up malaria prevention and treatment. To have an initial estimate of the impact of these efforts, time trends in health facility records were evaluated in selected districts in Ethiopia and Rwanda, where long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) had been distributed nationwide by 2007.
In Ethiopia, a stratified convenience sample covered four major regions where (moderately) endemic malaria occurs. In Rwanda, two districts were sampled in all five provinces, with one rural health centre and one rural hospital selected in each district. The main impact indicator was percentage change in number of in-patient malaria cases and deaths in children < 5 years old prior to (2001-2005/6) and after (2007) nationwide implementation of LLIN and ACT.
In-patient malaria cases and deaths in children < 5 years old in Rwanda fell by 55% and 67%, respectively, and in Ethiopia by 73% and 62%. Over this same time period, non-malaria cases and deaths generally remained stable or increased.
Initial evidence indicated that the combination of mass distribution of LLIN to all children < 5 years or all households and nationwide distribution of ACT in the public sector was associated with substantial declines of in-patient malaria cases and deaths in Rwanda and Ethiopia. Clinic-based data was a useful tool for local monitoring of the impact of malaria programmes.
Malaria Journal 01/2009; 8:14. · 3.19 Impact Factor
The threat of a global influenza pandemic and the adoption of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations (2005) highlight the value of well-coordinated, functional disease surveillance systems. The resulting demand for timely information challenges public health leaders to design, develop and implement efficient, flexible and comprehensive systems that integrate staff, resources, and information systems to conduct infectious disease surveillance and response. To understand what resources an integrated disease surveillance and response system would require, we analyzed surveillance requirements for 19 priority infectious diseases targeted for an integrated disease surveillance and response strategy in the WHO African region.
We conducted a systematic task analysis to identify and standardize surveillance objectives, surveillance case definitions, action thresholds, and recommendations for 19 priority infectious diseases. We grouped the findings according to surveillance and response functions and related them to community, health facility, district, national and international levels.
The outcome of our analysis is a matrix of generic skills and activities essential for an integrated system. We documented how planners used the matrix to assist in finding gaps in current systems, prioritizing plans of action, clarifying indicators for monitoring progress, and developing instructional goals for applied epidemiology and in-service training programs.
The matrix for Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) in the African region made clear the linkage between public health surveillance functions and participation across all levels of national health systems. The matrix framework is adaptable to requirements for new programs and strategies. This framework makes explicit the essential tasks and activities that are required for strengthening or expanding existing surveillance systems that will be able to adapt to current and emerging public health threats.
BMC Medicine. 01/2007;
ABSTRACT: The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners are collaborating to eradicate poliomyelitis. To monitor progress, countries perform surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). The WHO African Regional Office (WHO-AFRO) and the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also involved in strengthening infectious disease surveillance and response in Africa. We assessed whether polio-eradication initiative resources are used in the surveillance for and response to other infectious diseases in Africa.
During October 1999-March 2000, we developed and administered a survey questionnaire to at least one key informant from the 38 countries that regularly report on polio activities to WHO. The key informants included WHO-AFRO staff assigned to the countries and Ministry of Health personnel.
We obtained responses from 32 (84%) of the 38 countries. Thirty-one (97%) of the 32 countries had designated surveillance officers for AFP surveillance, and 25 (78%) used the AFP resources for the surveillance and response to other infectious diseases. In 28 (87%) countries, AFP program staff combined detection for AFP and other infectious diseases. Fourteen countries (44%) had used the AFP laboratory specimen transportation system to transport specimens to confirm other infectious disease outbreaks. The majority of the countries that performed AFP surveillance adequately (i.e., non polio AFP rate = 1/100,000 children aged <15 years) in 1999 had added 1-5 diseases to their AFP surveillance program.
Despite concerns regarding the targeted nature of AFP surveillance, it is partially integrated into existing surveillance and response systems in multiple African countries. Resources provided for polio eradication should be used to improve surveillance for and response to other priority infectious diseases in Africa.
BMC Public Health 12/2002; 2:27. · 2.00 Impact Factor