Posts or Comments 04 December 2022

Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention Bill Brieger | 01 Nov 2022 10:13 am

Early Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) Implementation Contributed to Reducing Malaria Incidence

Ousmane Badolo, Mathurin Bonzi, Moumouni Bonkoungou, Youssouf Sawadogo, Gauthier Tougri, Mathurin Dodo, Gladys Tetteh, William Brieger reported on Early Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) Implementation Contributed to Reducing Malaria Incidence in Sud-Ouest Region in Burkina Faso at the 2022 Annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Seattle.

They explained that in Burkina Faso, malaria remains a major public health problem. According to 2020 health statistics, malaria accounted for 40% of health service consultations, 54% of hospitalizations, and 27% of deaths. Children under 5 years of age account for 72% of malaria deaths.

To help reduce this burden, the Ministry of Health, with the support of its partners, has organized annual Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) campaigns since 2014 during the high malaria transmission period (July, August September, and October). In 2021, the U.S. PMI Impact Malaria project provided support to the National Malaria Control Program to implement SMC in 19 districts from three regions (Centre-Est, Centre-Ouest, and Sud-Ouest).

One of the innovations of the 2021 SMC campaign was the introduction of five cycles in 7 of these 19 districts, compared to four cycles elsewhere. Therefore, SMC started earlier (in June) while all the others started in July. We compared the incidence of malaria (in the 5 districts of the Sud-Ouest region) in 2020 to that of 2021 when the SMC started earlier.

The malaria incidence is estimated based on the weekly disease surveillance form where the number of malaria cases is recorded, using updated population census data as a denominator. In 2020, the average malaria incidence from May 31 to October 6 in the Sud-Ouest region was 51.44/1000. In 2021, during the same period malaria incidence was 40.94/1000 (a decrease of 20%) The SMC coverage was 103% and 104% respectively in 2020 and 2021.

Starting SMC early can contribute to reduced malaria incidence but key challenges need to be addressed: i) Underestimation of the target population due to IDPs and gold miners; ii) youngest children are with their mothers on the farm so cannot be found at home; iii) insufficient cards for the SMC.

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