Quality of Malaria Case Management under Different Transmission Settings - Tanzania Mainland, 2019.

  • Public health surveillance
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Background:
Tanzania is currently under an epidemiological transition of malaria transmission with parts of the country having <1% (hypoendemic; pre-elimination) and >10% malaria prevalence (mesoendemic). Hypoendemic areas in the pre- elimination phase require high testing rates for fever cases and appropriate treatment of cases. There are few data on the quality of malaria case management in pre-elimination settings. We evaluated the association between malaria endemicity and case management quality.
Methods:
An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted amongst 1,713 health facilities (HF) from all 26 regions of Tanzania Mainland during January through March 2019. Secondary data were collected following introduction of an assessment tool for HF readiness and performance of malaria case management by the National Malaria Control Programme. HF performance were mapped according to malaria endemicity. Mean case management scores from facilities in different transmission settings were compared by t-test. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses were performed to determine the association between HF performance and endemicity (mesoendemic vs. hypoen- demic).
Results:
HFs located in hypoendemic settings fared poorly than those in mesoendemic settings in terms of the overall quality of services [Difference in mean scores = 2.52; (95 % CI -3.85, -1.19)], readiness [Difference in mean scores = -2.97; (95 % CI -4.53, -1.39)], availability of malaria reference materials [Difference in mean scores = -4.91; (95 % CI -7.71, -2.10)], information system tools [Difference in mean scores = -5.92; (95 % CI -7.78, -3.93)] and client satisfaction [Difference in mean scores = -6.61; (95 % CI -9.39, -3.84)]. HFs in rural areas were also found to perform better [β: 4.12; (95 % CI 2.34, 5.89)].
Conclusion
HFs located in hypoendemic settings performed poorly compared to those in mesoendemic settings. The findings have major implications for areas aiming at eliminating malaria. Further studies are required to establish factors associated with poor quality of malaria case management in hypoendemic settings.

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