Shifting the burden or expanding access to care? Assessing malaria trends following scale-up of community health worker malaria case management and reactive case detection

David A Larsen, Anna Winters, Sanford Cheelo, Busiku Hamainza, Mulakwa Kamuliwo, John M. Miller, Daniel J. Bridges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Malaria is a significant burden to health systems and is responsible for a large proportion of outpatient cases at health facilities in endemic regions. The scale-up of community management of malaria and reactive case detection likely affect both malaria cases and outpatient attendance at health facilities. Using health management information data from 2012 to 2013 this article examines health trends before and after the training of volunteer community health workers to test and treat malaria cases in Southern Province, Zambia. Results: An estimated 50% increase in monthly reported malaria infections was found when community health workers were involved with malaria testing and treating in the community (incidence rate ratio 1.52, p < 0.001). Furthermore, an estimated 6% decrease in outpatient attendance at the health facility was found when community health workers were involved with malaria testing and treating in the community. Conclusions: These results suggest a large public health benefit to both community case management of malaria and reactive case detection. First, the capacity of the malaria surveillance system to identify malaria infections was increased by nearly one-third. Second, the outpatient attendance at health facilities was modestly decreased. Expanding the capacity of the malaria surveillance programme through systems such as community case management and reactive case detection is an important step toward malaria elimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number441
JournalMalaria Journal
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2017

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Keywords

  • Community case management
  • Elimination
  • Reactive case detection
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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