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01.12.2012 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Malaria Journal 1/2012

Using community-owned resource persons to provide early diagnosis and treatment and estimate malaria burden at community level in north-eastern Tanzania

Malaria Journal > Ausgabe 1/2012
Acleus S M Rutta, Filbert Francis, Bruno P Mmbando, Deus S Ishengoma, Samwel H Sembuche, Ezekiel K Malecela, Johari Y Sadi, Mathias L Kamugisha, Martha M Lemnge
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1475-2875-11-152) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

ASMR, BPM, DSI, MLK and MML participated in the design and supervised the overall implementation of the study. BPM and FF were responsible for management and analysis of the data. SS, EKM, JYS were involved in training and supervision of CORPs and EKM and JYS supervised reading of blood smears by microscopy. ASMR, BPM, FF, DSI, MLK and MML wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.



Although early diagnosis and prompt treatment is an important strategy for control of malaria, using fever to initiate presumptive treatment with expensive artemisinin combination therapy is a major challenge; particularly in areas with declining burden of malaria. This study was conducted using community-owned resource persons (CORPs) to provide early diagnosis and treatment of malaria, and collect data for estimation of malaria burden in four villages of Korogwe district, north-eastern Tanzania.


In 2006, individuals with history of fever within 24 hours or fever (axillary temperature ≥37.5°C) at presentation were presumptively treated using sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine. Between 2007 and 2010, individuals aged five years and above, with positive rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) were treated with artemether/lumefantrine (AL) while under-fives were treated irrespective of RDT results. Reduction in anti-malarial consumption was determined by comparing the number of cases that would have been presumptively treated and those that were actually treated based on RDTs results. Trends of malaria incidence and slide positivity rates were compared between lowlands and highlands.


Of 15,729 cases attended, slide positivity rate was 20.4% and declined by >72.0% from 2008, reaching <10.0% from 2009 onwards; and the slide positivity rates were similar in lowlands and highlands from 2009 onwards. Cases with fever at presentation declined slightly, but remained at >40.0% in under-fives and >20.0% among individuals aged five years and above. With use of RDTs, cases treated with AL decreased from <58.0% in 2007 to <11.0% in 2010 and the numbers of adult courses saved were 3,284 and 1,591 in lowlands and highlands respectively. Malaria incidence declined consistently from 2008 onwards; and the highest incidence of malaria shifted from children aged <10 years to individuals aged 10–19 years from 2009.


With basic training, supervision and RDTs, CORPs successfully provided early diagnosis and treatment and reduced consumption of anti-malarials. Progressively declining malaria incidence and slide positivity rates suggest that all fever cases should be tested with RDTs before treatment. Data collected by CORPs was used to plan phase 1b MSP3 malaria vaccine trial and will be used for monitoring and evaluation of different health interventions. The current situation indicates that there is a remarkable changing pattern of malaria and these areas might be moving from control to pre-elimination levels.
Authors’ original file for figure 1
Authors’ original file for figure 2
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