A research protocol.
Reducing the burden of malaria through improving malaria surveillance and health care services in Sidama Regional State, southern Ethiopia: a community and institution based cross-sectional study.
Background: Recent increase in malaria cases challenges Ethiopia’s ambition to eliminate malaria nationwide by 2030. Some of the reasons for the increasing burden of malaria could be changes in the behaviour of mosquitos, insecticides resistance, residual transmission, climate change, asymptomatic malaria, poor malaria surveillance, inadequate and insufficient malaria diagnosis capacity at primary health care facilities, political instability, and low adherence to antimalarial drug. However, more information is needed locally to target prevention intervention at the regional and sub-regional levels.
Objective: This research aims to assess the prevalence of malaria at the community and health facility level, to map the existing preventive measures, and housing structure, assess the performance of malaria surveillance, the capacity of primary healthcare units in terms of malaria outbreak preparedness and response, availability of resources to detect and manage malaria cases, quality of diagnosis and patient adherence to anti-malaria drugs in Sidama Regional State, southern Ethiopia.
Methods: Community and facility-based cross-sectional surveys will be conducted in 2023. The repeated community surveys will be conducted four times in 2023. The facility-based survey will be carried out in April 2023. A multi-stage cluster sampling technique will be used to select study participants for community-based malaria prevalence surveys. A total of nine randomly selected kebeles (smallest administrative structures) from two districts with 1621 households and 8105 persons will be recruited for community-based surveys, and 156 health facilities from 10 districts will be included in facility-based surveys. Data will be collected using Kobocollect on Android-based tablets with a structured, pre-tested and validated questionnaire and exported to STATA version 16 for analysis. Appropriate statistical analysis for each study objective will be used. The multivariable analysis will be considered to control for potential confounding factors. The study is done in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, and the results will provide important information to improve malaria control services.
Keywords: Malaria prevalence, surveillance, malaria diagnosis, malaria treatment, Sidama, Ethiopia
The Regional Ministry of Health and Hawassa University researchers collaborate on the project.
Dr Tarekegn Solomon from Hawassa University is the lead investigator, and PhD students Misganu Endriyas and Teka Samuel from the Ministry of Health. Dr Taye Gari and Professor Bernt Lindtjørn are researchers.