Leading the Final Push to Polio Eradication

Sophia Shea and Sophia Winchester have shared their thoughts about what  may hopefully be the final stages of the polio eradication effort. Their original blog appears on the website for Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health care.

Polio eradication has been on the world’s agenda for decades, and we are finally at the last push to eradicating the disease.  However, Afghanistan and Pakistan remain on the frontlines of battling polio with added political tensions and suspicion against vaccination efforts.

Image result for polio vaccination afghanistan
Child getting vaccinated from a polio mass vaccination campaign worker. Source

Both Afghanistan and Pakistan have experienced political strife surrounding the involvement of the Taliban.  While the Taliban supports polio eradication, they continue to battle with the WHO on how best to vaccinate the respective populations. In the past, Osama bin Landen was captured using spies in a door-to-door vaccine effort, which contributed to distrust among the community. The Taliban is strongly against door-to-door vaccination given this distrust; however, the WHO considers door-to-door to be bet practice and most effective.

There are religious leaders who also say that vaccination goes against Muslim law. Due to the increased religious pressure against vaccination, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has released religious fatwas in support of vaccination and hopefully will promote vaccination in mosques.

Despite issues in governance between the Afghanistan/Pakistan governments and the Taliban, organizations involved in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, such as UNICEFRotary International, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been actively campaigning for mass vaccination efforts.  In order to adequately support this initiative, it is critical that there be clear leadership and fully supported funding streams to direct this final push for eradication.  Strict leadership by a governmentally neutral organization like the WHO will allow actors involved in this initiative to focus on their respective operations.  Finally, polio eradication is estimated to cost nearly $4 billion over the next few years, and the financial requirements of this effort should not create a barrier to achieving the overall goal of eradicating polio.

Call to Action:

We are very close to eradicating polio from the world – Pakistan and Afghanistan two of the last few countries to have polio. Turmoil among the governments and the Taliban’s presence make it challenging to vaccinate children in these areas. In order to succeed in eradicating polio, we need to increase funding available for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and its member organizations to increase their vaccination capacity. Your donation can make a difference. The end is near! We need to make sure there is not donor fatigue and that current efforts are supported.

Young boys and girls raise their hands to show marks of vaccination against polio, in Afghanistan
Children showing their stamped fingers indicating they have been vaccinated. Source

Lessons Learned from Ebola Management in Sierra Leone

Figure #1: Image of a Village Health Worker in Sierra Leone Preparing Chlorinated Water

Lessons can still be learned from the Ebola experience in West Africa. Daniel Ehrenpreis and Masahiro Katahira as members of the class, Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care, have posted a blog on the importance of financing at the local government level to ensure better disease control efforts. Their thoughts are posted below.

In 2015, Sierra Leone experienced the height of the Ebola epidemic, where there were over 13,000 confirmed cases; 29% of which were fatal. The prolific nature of this disease made controlling the spread difficult to manage. The government of Sierra Leone initially coordinated the Ebola mitigation efforts by allocating funding to centralized approaches . This method quickly became ineffective as the virus rapidly proliferated and mortality skyrocketed. Different Ebola response efforts were needed to curb the spread of this infectious disease.

While many international organizations were funneling funding into national response measures, localized infection control interventions were being undermined. This created uncoordinated Ebola control measures that exacerbated the virus’ mortality rate. Furthermore, localized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were disproportionately underfunded and thus did not have the resources to implement effective Ebola mitigation techniques.

Figure #2: National vs. Localized Ebola Response

The National Ebola Response Center (NERC) consisted of the army of Sierra Leone and England, including international agencies such as, UNMEER, WHO, and CDC. All 14 districts of Sierra Leone had a District Ebola Response Center (DERC). (See Figure #2)

The DERC had localized roles, such as surveillance, alerts, burials, community mobilization & education, and quarantine. Low capacity of district health infrastructure and insufficient funding challenged DERCs and local NGOs. With a lack of medical resources including protective clothes due to their poor logistics system, reduced communication between staff in the NERC due to no electricity, distrust from community members, and an inadequate number of staff, there were many barriers preventing the success of localized Ebola response. Also, since every DERC had to meet the needs of different communities, the DERCs did not always act in alignment with the NERC’s plan. It was clear that more funding and resources were needed in the DERCs.

To respond effectively to future Ebola epidemics, national governments should consider allocating funding from both internal finance and international donors to decentralized health management approaches. The 2015 Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone exemplified the need to strengthen local health sectors, and it is the responsibility of national policymakers to bolster the capacity of our localized health systems for effective control and response.

Policy Implications for Coronavirus

According to the World Health Organization, “Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.” The current outbreak that started in Wuhan, China may have first been detected in early December 2019, hence its name COVID-19.

From the policy perspective there are several global, regional, national and local steps and policies that must be considered. At is second meeting on the novel coronavirus, the WHO Emergencies  Coronavirus Emergency  Committee on 30 January 2020 recommended and the WHO Director General declared, “We would  have seen many more  cases outside  China  by now – and probably deaths – if  it were not for the government’s efforts and the progress they have made to protect their own people  and the people  of the world…  I’m declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern over the global outbreak of novel coronavirus.”

The PHEIC was declared based on “the IHR, our main international health treaty.” This declaration and treaty enable WHO’s “leadership role for public health measures, holding  countries  to account concerning additional measures they may take regarding  travel, trade, quarantine or screening, research efforts, global coordination, anticipation of economic  impacts,  support to vulnerable  states,” which is where global and national policies and actions may come into concordance or conflict. Clearly some of the more draconian control measures by a few countries were perceived to be beyond the scope of these regulations, policies and treaty.

While as of this writing the spread of COVID-19 appears to slowed in China, it is picking up pace on other continents. The next policy question is whether to name the current outbreak a “pandemic.”

WHO says that, “A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.” Thus there is community level spread of the disease, not just imported cases from another country. As of today, there is still no evidence of community spread in Africa and Latin America, but a suspected community acquired case has been detected in North America.

Policy and action implications for declaring a pandemic have been spelled out in the Guardian: “a pandemic would mean travel bans would no longer be useful or make sense and would alert health authorities that they need to prepare for the next phase… This includes preparing our hospitals for a large influx of patients, stockpiling any antivirals, and advising the public that when the time comes ,they will need to think about things like staying at home if ill, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings etc.” experts said. And a big challenge for governments would be “encouraging people to change their behaviours, such as forgoing or cancelling large social events if they are sick.”

It is most likely that class members in Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care at JHSPH will address some of these policy challenges in their blogs during the coming months.

Preventing Malaria in Mozambique: the 2018 Malaria Indicator Survey Summarized

The Demographic and Health Survey Program has recently released the 2018 Malaria Indicator Survey for Mozambique. Below is a summary of some of the key findings. These focus on access and use of insecticide-treated nets, intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy and case management

While “82% of Mozambican households have at least one ITN, and half have at least one ITN for each two people,” these achievements do not reach universal coverage targets. That said, the ownership of at least one net by a household did increase from 51% in 2011 to the recent 82%. Likewise 23% of households met the universal coverage target of one net per two people in a household in 2011 compared to 51% in 2018. The pace of progress may appear good, but this must be seen in light of lack of growth in donor funding and greater calls for countries to assume more financial responsibility for disease control.

Of interest is the fact that net ownership is spread somewhat evenly over the economic class quintiles. Ideally we would want to see better ownership figures for the lower quintiles.

Households obtained their nets from three major sources. “Most ITNs (87%) were obtained in mass distribution campaigns, 4% in prenatal consultations (PNC) and 6% are purchased in stores or markets.” While the proportion getting their nets through PNC may roughly reflect the proportion of the population who are pregnant at a given time, the survey is not specifically a snapshot of this population in real time. Thus, one could question whether distribution of ITNs through routine health services is fully functioning.

Since it was noted that only half of households have the ideal number of ITNs to reach universal coverage of their members, it is not surprising that only, “69% of the population of households’ family members have access to an ITN. This means that 7 in every 10 people could sleep under an ITN if each ITN in a household were used by a maximum of two people.” On the positive side, this represents an approximate doubling of use of ITNs since 2011.

The survey further notes that those segments of the population traditionally viewed as “vulnerable” fared a bit better: “73% of children under 5 years and 76% of pregnant women slept under an ITN the night before investigation.” This too, represents a doubling from 2011. There is also geographical variation where it appears that the more rural provinces have higher rates of use.

It would appear that IRS is not a major component of malaria control. Household coverage with indoor residual spray “decreased from 19% in 2011 to 11% in 2015, and then increased to 16% in 2018.” Urban coverage (23%) of IRS in the twelve months prior to the survey is twice as high as the percentage in rural areas (12%).

Although still not meeting targets, Mozambique has seen major progress in providing IPTp for pregnant women. Over the period from 2011 to 2018 the proportion of pregnant women receiving even one dose rose from 37% to 85%. Since WHO has set targets for at least 3 monthly doses from the 13th week of pregnancy, Mozambique’s coverage of the third dose increased from 10% to 41% with wide variation among provinces.

UNICEF shared data from 2015 to show that 51% of pregnant women in Mozambique attended 4 PNC/ANC visits, implying that there are missed opportunities for achieving at least 3 doses of IPTp. Also, since more women are now getting the first dose of IPTp, hopefully more can also get an ITN at PNC.

These national surveys (MIS, DHS) are invaluable for assessing progress and planning what interventions need to be strengthened where and among whom. They also show that progress is slow, reinforcing global concerns that malaria elimination will still be a challenge by 2050.

Viruses and bacteria are spread by floodwater – evidence from the 2011–2012 La Niña floods in Peru

A flooded street in Santa Clara de Nanay, April 2, 2012 (courtesy of Asociación Benéfica Prisma)

Josh Colston of the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, presented his findings on the connection between floods and enteric pathogens in Peru at the 2019 meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Below he has shared us with a summary of his work and findings. A link to the recently published work is also provided.

Climate change represents an impending global public health threat since extreme weather events like floods can cause injury and drowning, toxic exposure, and the spread of infectious diseases. Poor people living in unplanned settlements with inadequate infrastructure are most vulnerable to these impacts. Outbreaks of gastroenteritis often occur following floods and can be particularly serious for young children. But there are many different bugs that can cause this illness and it’s not yet known which of them are most prone to contaminating floodwater. However, a newly published paper in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health may shed some light thanks to a small piece of serendipity in an otherwise devastating natural disaster.

Location of the study site

The 2010-2012 La Niña event (the colder counterpart of El Niño) caused huge disruption to weather patterns over several continents. The Amazonian region of Peru around the city of Iquitos was particularly badly hit by heavy rains. It’s a low-lying area particularly prone to flooding since it’s situated at the confluence of several Amazon tributaries. Waterways are the main transport routes in the region, so most of the population lives close to the banks of the rivers. Following months of heavy rainfall in late 2011 and early 2012, three of the rivers – the Ucayali, Marañón, and Nanay – burst their banks, causing widespread flooding and forcing many locals to abandon their homes and evacuate to drier areas. By the end of the disaster, an estimated 50,000 people had been made homeless.

It just so happened that, in a quiet fishing town on the outskirts of Iquitos called Santa Clara de Nanay, an epidemiologic surveillance study was being carried out. Around 300 babies had been recruited and field workers were taking regular measurements and biological samples to see how they were growing and what bugs they were catching. Using a special epidemiologic method known as ‘causal inference’ researchers were able to compare the samples of the infants’ poop before, during and after the flood to see how the rates of infection changed.

Estimated prevalence rates of four viruses and three bacteria before, during and after the flood

Interestingly, two viruses showed substantial upticks during the flood. Rates of rotavirus were 5 times, and sapovirus 2.5 times the normal level for that time of year. What’s more, the rotavirus cases seemed to be caused by unusual virus strains that were not common in the area and which are less preventable by vaccine. Meanwhile, three bacteria – Campylobacter, Shigella and a type of E. coli called ST-ETEC – showed smaller increases. It’s common to catch Campylobacter from poultry and, since a lot of households in Santa Clara keep chickens in their yards, it’s possible that the mini-outbreak was cause by floodwater washing chicken droppings out of the coops and into the wider environment.

What’s clear from this and other recent studies, is that we need to start thinking bigger when it comes to drainage and sanitation solutions. Traditional low-cost, household-level improvements to water sources and sanitation facilities may not be up to the task in the face of climate events that may suddenly and unexpectedly expose entire communities to large amounts of untreated sewage. Investments in more ambitious, municipal-level water, wastewater, and drainage infrastructure – the kind that historically brought about massive, society-wide child health improvements in high income countries – may be the only sure route to climate resilience.

Deforestation and Disease

Much attention is focused on the broader environmental and climatic consequences of deforestation, especially as this has seemed to pick up pace in places like the Amazon Basin. More attention is also needed concerning the disease transmission implications of deforestation. Recent studies have shed light on the problem. Basically deforestation as a result of urbanization or expanding commercial agriculture and related human activity brings people closer to areas where diseases can spread.

The connection between bats and the spread of Ebola in humans has been posited for some time. Forest News notes that “Fruit bats (Pteropodidae) are suspected reservoir hosts for the Ebola virus,” and thus, “Deforestation may accelerate the spread of the deadly Ebola disease in the rainforests of West and Central Africa by increasing human-bat interactions.” They are sharing information by Olivero and colleagues recently published in Mammal Review.

These researchers “show that the range of some fruit bat species is linked to human activities within the favourable areas for the Ebola virus. More specifically, the areas where human activities favour the presence of five fruit bat species overlap with the areas where EVD outbreaks in humans were themselves favoured by deforestation.” They have modeled and mapped an area in West and Central Africa based on climate, including annual temperature ranges, the presence of rainforest and mammal distribution to create an area known as “The Ebola Virus Area.”

Concerning malaria, research by Chua and colleagues in Malaysia found that, “contributes to a growing body of evidence implicating environmental changes due to deforestation, expansion of agricultural and farming areas, and development of human settlements near to forest fringes in the emergence of P. knowlesi in Sabah.” Their research is part of more than a dozen studies over the past nine years that links deforestation and greater interaction between humans and macaque monkeys, the normal victim of P. knowlesi. One of the earlier studies reports that, ” ongoing ecological changes resulting from deforestation, with an associated increase in the human population, could enable this pathogenic species of Plasmodium to switch to humans as the preferred host.”

Eliminating the mammal hosts of these diseases is not an option because as Olivero explained about bats, “The entire function and ecology of forests would be put at risk if these vital pollinators and seed dispersers are eliminated.”

Considering another tropical disease, Visser warns that, “Climate change, deforestation, urbanization, and increased population mobility have made the risk of large outbreaks of yellow fever more likely than ever.” The lesson from these experiences is not mainly that we need to increase coverage of proven preventive measures, but that we need broader change in our approaches and policies toward land use.

Presence of k13 561H artemisinin resistance mutations in Plasmodium falciparum infections from Rwanda

Aline Uwimana, Noella Umulisa, Meera Venkatesan, Eric S. Halsey, Tharcisse Munyaneza, Rafiki Madjid Habimana, Ryan Sandford, Leah F. Moriarty, Emily Piercefield, Zhiyong Zhou, Samaly Souza, Ira Goldman, Naomi Lucchi, Brian Ezema, Eldin Talundzic, Daniel Ngamije, Jean-Louis N Mangala, William Brieger, Venkatachalam Udhayakumar, and Aimable Mbituyumuremyi presented a poster on “Presence of k13 561H artemisinin resistance mutations in Plasmodium falciparum infections from Rwanda” at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Their findings follow.

Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the recommended first-line antimalarial for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infection in Rwanda. With the emergence of artemisinin and partner drug resistance in the Greater Mekong sub-region, it is important to characterize the presence of polymorphisms in k13, a gene associated with artemisinin resistance, and in pfmdr1, a gene associated with susceptibility to partner drugs including lumefantrine.

To date, there have been sporadic reports of validated k13 markers in Africa. Adequate efficacy (94-97%) for the ACT artemether-lumefantrine (AL) was found in a therapeutic efficacy study (TES) conducted in three Rwandan sites (Masaka, Rukara and Bugarama) in 2018. TES clinical results are presented in poster LB-5134. Dried blood spots collected from the 2018 TES were characterized for artemisinin resistance-associated k13 molecular markers and 8 flanking microsatellites to assess genetic profile and diversity, along with mutations in pfmdr1.

Methods: DNA was isolated from day 0 and day of recurrence dried blood spots from a 2018 TES of AL conducted in 3 sites in Rwanda and analyzed by Sanger sequencing for resistance markers in the k13 and pfmdr1 genes.

Prevalence of k13 candidate and validated artemisinin resistance markers was calculated using day 0 samples. Presence of k13 markers post-treatment was determined using samples collected on the day of recurrence. 8 flanking microsatellite markers downstream and upstream of k13 were evaluated and compared with previously published results from samples from Thailand1.

Results of Prevalence of k13 561 were derived from HDNA from 219 of 228 day 0 samples and all 37 post-treatment samples were successfully isolated from dried blood spots. 26 of 219 day 0 samples showed presence of the 561H mutation in the k13 gene, a World Health Organization validated marker of artemisinin resistance (ref). 3 of the 26 were mixed infections with wild type (561R/H).

*WHO definitions2: Suspected endemic artemisinin resistance is defined as

  • • ? 10% of patients with a half-life of the parasite clearance slope ? 5 hours after treatment with ACT or artesunate monotherapy; or
  • • ? 5% of patients carrying k13 resistance-confirmed mutations; or
  • • ? 10% of patients with persistent parasitaemia by microscopy at 72 hours
    Confirmed endemic artemisinin resistance is defined as
  • • ? 5% of patients carrying k13 resistance-confirmed mutations, all of whom have been found to have either persistent parasitaemia by microscopy on day 3 or a half-life of the parasite clearance slope ? 5 hours after treatment

Additional k13 data found 8 of 37 post-treatment samples with k13 561H in 4 recrudescences (all also with 561H on day 0) and in 4 reinfections. Candidate k13 resistance marker 469F found in 3 day 0 samples (2 in Rukara, 1 in Bugarama) Candidate k13 resistance markers 441L and 449A found in 1 day 0 sample each (Masaka and Rukara, respectively)

In conclusion, k13 561H, a validated marker of artemisinin resistance, was found at a prevalence of 1-20% amongst 3 TES sites in Rwanda. This is the highest proportion of artemisinin resistance-confirmed k13 mutations reported to date in Africa. The overall efficacy of AL was high in all sites (>90%; see poster LB-5134). However, parasitemia on day 3, a proxy for delayed parasite clearance, ranged from 0-15% across sites. Together with the presence of k13 561H, our results indicate confirmed artemisinin resistance in one site, Masaka, and suspected resistance in another, Rukara.

Flanking microsatellites indicate that the k13 561H mutation likely arose locally as opposed to being introduced from Southeast Asia. k13 mutations are present against a high background prevalence of pfmdr1 N86 and D1246, associated with reduced susceptibility to lumefantrine4.

These results indicate that although AL remains an effective treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Rwanda, artemisinin resistance may be emerging. Continued monitoring and confirmation of suspected resistance is critical. Future studies will include an expansion of TES sites and frequent parasite sampling to assess parasite clearance rates, in addition to molecular analysis.

References

  1. Talundzic et al 2015. Selection and Spread of Artemisinin-Resistant Alleles in Thailand Prior to the Global Artemisinin Resistance Containment Campaign PLoS Pathogens 11(4)
  2. WHO 2017. Status report on artemisinin and ACT resistance
  3. Ishengoma et al 2019. Efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria and prevalence of Pfk13 and Pfmdr1 polymorphisms after a decade of using artemisinin-based combination therapy in mainland Tanzania Malaria Journal 18(1):88.
  4. Venkatesan et al 2014 . Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter and multidrug resistance 1 genes: parasite risk factors that affect treatment outcomes for P. falciparum malaria after artemether-lumefantrine and artesunate-amodiaquine. AJTMH 91(4)

Contact information: Dr. Aline Uwimana <aline.uwimana@rbc.gov.rw> and Dr. Meera Venkatesan <mvenkatesan@usaid.gov>

Affiliations: Malaria and Other Parasitic Diseases Division, Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Kigali, Rwanda; Maternal and Child Survival Program/JHPIEGO, Baltimore MD, USA; US President’s Malaria Initiative, Washington DC, USA; US President’s Malaria Initiative, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Malaria Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; National Reference Laboratory, Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Kigali, Rwanda; US Peace Corps, Kigali, Rwanda; US President’s Malaria Initiative, Kigali, Rwanda; WHO Rwanda Office, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Programs, Kigali, Rwanda; The Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of International Health, Baltimore, MD, USA

Improving the Quality of Malaria Case Management and Malaria Prevention During Pregnancy in Public Health Facilities in Burkina Faso

Thierry D. A. Ouedraogo, Ousmane Badolo, Mathurin Dodo, Bonkoungou Moumouni, Youssouf Sawadogo, Dao Blami, and Stanislas Nébié presented a poster entitled “Improving the Quality of Malaria Case Management and Malaria Prevention During Pregnancy in Public Health Facilities in Burkina Faso” at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Their findings are shared below.

Background: In 2017, malaria was the leading cause of medical consultation (43.34%), of hospitalization (44.05%) and of death (16.13%) in Burkina Faso. The disease mostly kills children under five years and pregnant women. One objective of the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) is to contribute to improving the health of the population by reducing malaria mortality rate by at least 40% compared to 2015 in Burkina Faso by the end of 2020.

In order to achieve that, the NMCP revised the malaria treatment guidelines in 2014 to take into account WHO guidelines on malaria case management and conducted training in primary health care facilities. NMCP implemented a one-day orientation training in district and regional hospitals since 2015, with the support of the PMI Improving Malaria Care Project.

Health Care Providers Training: The training of health care providers was carried out in several 5-days sessions at health districts level. It was aimed at strengthening their skills in the prevention and management of malaria cases in Primary health centers (CSPSs) according to the revised guidelines. 1,819 providers (633 females, 1,186 males) have been trained on the updated malaria prevention and control guidelines in 53 districts during this period.

The training covered the definition and epidemiology of malaria, malaria drug prevention, biological diagnosis of malaria, of uncomplicated malaria cases management, severe malaria case management, healing assessment and health education, monitoring and evaluation. Clinical learning sessions on uncomplicated and severe malaria case management have allowed providers to practice treatment themselves.

The goal of the project was To assess the diagnosis and case management of uncomplicated and severe malaria according malaria guideline in the various health facilities in Burkina Faso in 2017. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2017 to assess the quality of malaria treatment and prevention during pregnancy in public health facilities.

Submission of protocol Ethics Committee included Information of the surveyed structures and Information to respondents & verbal agreement. The team also worked to provide Quality assurance, Investigator training, Supervision of data collection and Development of guidelines for data collection.

Data processing began with Data review. Data entry used Epi Info input 7.2.2.6. The Data collection period ran from 17-30 September 2018. The assessment focused on the malaria diagnosis and treatment. A comparative analysis of 2015 and 2017 data was done to understand trends.

Challenges included The lack of regional and district regular supervision and
The treatment of presumptive cases without confirmation. The non-application of the treatment protocol for severe malaria occurred in some case and as were variations in doses and duration of treatment. There was some stock-out of drugs for the treatment of uncomplicated and severe malaria.

Overall there was an increase in correct procedures, and IMC project has strongly contributed to this success by training health care providers since 2015, by regularly monitoring the implementation of malaria control guidelines during supervision, and by ensuring the availability of supplies at all levels

Recommendations include Ensuring the effective implementation of national guidelines for malaria management according to levels of care and the availability of supplies for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of malaria during pregnancy at all levels.

In Conclusion, The results of the evaluation show that all health centres surveyed (50/50) have the capacity to diagnose (confirm cases) and treat malaria cases. At the end of the study, the results indicate that progress has been made in the diagnosis and treatment of malaria from 2015 to 2017.

*Affiliation: PMI Improving Malaria Care Project; Jhpiego Burkina Faso. This poster was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Cooperative Agreement No. AID-624-A-13-00010 and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, PMI or the United States Government.

Use of Malaria Service and Data Quality Improvement in Mwanza Tanzania

Emmanuel Lesilwa, Goodluck Tesha, Jasmine Chadewa, Agnes Kosia, Zahra Mkomwa, Bayoum Awadhi, Gaudiosa Tibaijuka, Rita Noronha, Dunstan Bishanga, Lusekelo Njonge, Frank Chacky, Abdallah Lusasi, Ally Mohamed, Chonge Kitojo, and Erik Reaves presented a poster entitled “Use of Malaria Service and Data Quality Improvement (MSDQI) Tool in Cascaded Supervision Approach Improved Quality of Malaria Services – Experience from Mwanza, Tanzania” at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Their findings are shared below.

Inadequate quality of malaria service and data has been one of the problems in Mwanza region due to high malaria prevalence, inadequate knowledge of supervisors and standardized supervision tool. In 2017, NMCP and stakeholders developed malaria services and data quality improvement (MSDQI) tool to guide supervisors. The tool comprises of seven modules addressing performance of Malaria Case Management with indicators weighted against a standard score. Any facility scoring below 50% of the overall score is deemed poorly performing, 50%-75% moderate and above 75% good performance.

What is Malaria Service and Data Quality Improvement (MSDQI)? It is a checklist to guide supportive supervision teams in evaluating the quality of malaria services at the health facility level. MSDQI helps with the:-

  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Facility-based malaria performance indicators
  • Provision of timely, accurate information and data for decision-making at district, regional, and national levels

In the attached graphs we present the Number of malaria test among OPD cases and the Number of malaria test among OPD cases which increased from 527,734 in 2016 to 1,241,990 in 2018 in Mwanza region. This resulted to the decrease of patients treated without malaria confirmatory test.

After intervention with MSDQI, there was a Decline in proportion of malaria cases clinically diagnosed and treated in Mwanza Regions reduced from 6.5% cases in 2016 to 0.1% cases in 2018

Good progress in IPTp2 and IPTp3 Coverage in Mwanza region was also documented. IPTp2 increased from 37.6% in 2016 to 72.3%, while PITp3 increased from 1.2% in 2016 to 48.5% in 2018.

There was Increased coverage of LLINs in pregnant women and infants.
Increased coverage of LLINs in Pregnant women went from 4.9% 2016 to 75.6% in 2018. Likewise that for Infants increased from 2.9% 2016 to 65% in 2018.

Several Lessons were Learned. Cascaded supervision approaches contribute to improved quality of malaria service provision and hence improved malaria indicators. The Way forward is to Continue using cascaded supervisors to improve quality of data and malaria services through MSDQI

*Affiliation: : USAID Boresha Afya Lake and Western Zone – PATH; USAID Boresha Afya Lake and Western Zone –Jhpiego; National Malaria Control Programme-Tanzania Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Tanzania; US President’s Malaria Initiative-United States Agency for International Development

This presentation was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the USAID Boresha Afya and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States government

Systematic Approach to the Review of Malaria Management Guidelines Ghana, 2019

Mildred Komey Akosua,* James Sarkodie, Kezia Malm1 Raphael Ntumy, and Gladys Tetteh presented a poster entitled “Systematic Approach to the Review of Malaria Management Guidelines Ghana, 2019” at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The primary objective of the Ghana NMCP is to reduce morbidity & mortality due to malaria through effective strategies. Implementation of these effective malaria control strategies depends largely on the availability of up-to-date, evidence-based, and standardized reference materials to guide and improve practice. Guidelines for the management of malaria in Ghana, including the anti-malaria drug policy (ADP), guidelines for case management of malaria (CM) and guidelines for malaria in pregnancy (MiP) were last updated in 2014. The 2014 review took over six months and left behind no documented methodology to guide subsequent reviews.

The World Health Organization recommends a comprehensive review every five years. In order to make the 2019 review process concise, efficient and reproducible, the NMCP with support from the PMI Impact Malaria project outlined a methodical approach to the review.

The process established an oversight review committee; identified all stakeholders relevant to update the ADP and guidelines; prepared a reference package of technical resources and research findings; nominated experts and allocated them to topic-specific technical working groups (TWGs). (Fig 1)

Then, a series of TWG consultative meetings were held with clearly defined processes and outputs, and independent external experts and potential end users of the guidelines ratified the draft guidelines. (Fig 2 and Fig 3)

A final phase included development of training content, training manuals, and development of key job-aids. (Fig 4 and Fig 5) Costs for the review process were identified and funding obtained.

All components of the 2019 process were enhancements to the unrecorded 2014 review. The process resulted in a documented and costed methodological approach, an up-to-date ADP, MiP and CM guidelines, training curriculum, training manuals, and job aids; all developed in a timely and efficient manner over a three-month period.

It also resulted in an approach for achieving minor policy and guideline updates between comprehensive five-year reviews. Using a systematic well-defined comprehensive approach with clear expectations for inputs, process, outputs, roles, timelines, costs, and sequelae actions, results in up-to-date widely accepted policies and guidelines whose implementation can be easily operationalized, with mechanisms for minor guideline updates between comprehensive five-year reviews.

*Author affiliations: Ghana National Malaria Control Programme, PMI Impact Malaria Project, Jhpiego

TWITTER.COM/IMPACT_MALARIA; IMPACTMALARIA.ORG