Ousmane Badolo,* Stanislas Nébié, Youssouf Sawadogo, Thierry Ouedraogo, Bonkoungou Moumouni, Mathurin Dodo, Lolade Oseni, Gladys Teteh, and William Brieger, presented a poster entitled, “Reduction in malaria-attributable deaths following a rectal artesunate pre-referral treatment pilot in Burkina Faso, 2018,” at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Background: In 2017, 4.32 percent of malaria cases were documented as severe malaria in Burkina Faso. The National Case Management Guidelines (August 2017) recommends that the First line treatment for severe malaria be injectable artesunate except in pregnancy where injectable quinine is used for the 1st trimester and injectable artesunate used for the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

The guidelines recommend pre-referral treatment of severe disease at peripheral health facilities using rectal artesunate for children under 5, parenteral artesunate, artemether, or quinine for older children and adults. The guidelines also recommend pre-referral treatment of severe disease by community health workers with rectal artesunate for children under 5 only. The National Malaria Control Program is currently piloting pre-referral rectal artesunate for children under five years of age by CHWs in three districts in North and Sahel regions, where malaria mortality is the highest.

Results: Comparison Severe Malaria cases and death among <5 before and after the pre-referral treatment in Sahel region is seen in the Table. Pre-referral treatment was able to reduce fatality by 45%.

Comparison of monthly fatality of severe malaria among <5 year (October 16 to April 17; October 17 to April 18 and October 18 to April 19) in the Sahel region is seen in the Graph. This shows a substantial decline in severe malaria following introduction ofthe  pre-referral rectal artesunate pilot.

Several Lessons were Learned based on the Encouraging preliminary results. The involvement of the community in health activities allows good visibility of the intervention resulting in good acceptability and adherence. The community can take charge of its own health if it is well supervised. Good functionality of the “canary fridge” device when used in hot areas.  Ability to use other meeting and supervisory opportunities to implement the strategy.  Challenges identified can be corrected by close monitoring.

Insecurity in Northern Burkina Faso is a major constraint, but pre-referral treatment of severe malaria is needed to decrease mortality from malaria. Despite implementation difficulties, this experience has contributed to a reduction in deaths due to severe malaria in the Sahel region, which is also facing increasing insecurity.

An evaluation of the implementation with data collection for a one-year implementation period will provide lessons for the national scale up of pre-referral artesunate implementation.

*Affiliations: PMI Improving Malaria Care Project, Jhpiego Baltimore, MD, United States, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States

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.