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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1729-0503
Vol. 10, No. 3, 2010, pp. 332-340
Bioline Code: hs10063
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2010, pp. 332-340

 en Effectiveness of a community intervention on malaria in rural Tanzania - a randomised controlled trial
Eriksen, J.; Mujinja, P.; Warsame, M.; Nsimba, S.; Kouyaté, B.; Gustafsson, L.L.; Jahn, A.; Müller, O.; Sauerborn, R. & Tomson, G.

Abstract

Background: Malaria infections are a major public health problem in Africa and prompt treatment is one way of controlling the disease and saving lives.
Methods: This cluster-randomised controlled community intervention conducted in 2003-2005 aimed at improving early malaria case management in under five children. Health workers were trained to train community-based women groups in recognizing malaria symptoms, providing first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria and referring severe cases. Evaluation was through a pre- (2004) and a post-intervention survey (2005). Anaemia prevalence was the primary outcome.
Results: 1715 children aged 6-59 months were included in the pre-intervention survey and 2169 in the post-intervention survey. The prevalence of anaemia decreased significantly from 37% [95% CI 34.7-39.3] to 0.5% [95% CI 0.2-0.7] after the intervention (p<0.001); slightly more in the intervention (from 43.9% to 0.8%) than in the control (30.8% to 0.17%) group (p=0.038). Fever and reported fever decreased significantly and the mean body weight of the children increased significantly over the study period in both control and intervention groups.
Conclusion: The decrease in anaemia was significantly associated with the intervention, whereas the fever and body weight trends might be explained by other malaria control activities or seasonal/climate effects in the area. The community intervention was shown to be feasible in the study context.

Keywords
malaria, Tanzania, randomised controlled trial, community intervention, sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine

 
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