Malaria remains a serious threat to children less than 15 years of age in sub-Sahara Africa. Mass testing, treatment and tracking (MTTT) of malaria has demonstrated a parasite load reduction of more than 90% in Ghanaian children. Unanswered questions include - could this be scaled up? What could be the coverage over a given time? What do we need? This study explores the impact of scaling up MTTT on malaria prevalence among under 15 year children.
The targets population is a cohort of 460 asymptomatic children recruited from seven communities in Ghana. MTTT was conducted quarterly and the effect was observed in the cohort. All household members were tested for malaria using RDTs and positive cases treated with Artesunate Amodiaquin.
A total of 460 children were selected for the study. Of these, 438(95.2%) were screened at baseline, 398(86.5%) at first evaluation and 396(86.1%) at second evaluation. Asymptomatic parasitaemia prevalence at baseline was 53.7% which dropped to 33.4% at first evaluation but rose to 40.3% at second evaluation. An overall of decrease of 32.3% at the second evaluation compared to baseline. Across age group, there was a decrease in parasite prevalence of 33.3% among the 0-11 months old, 18.1% among the 1-4 year old and 46.3% among 5-14 year old children. Analyses reveal that 5(83.3%) of the children 0-11 months old, 108(75.5%) of the 1-4 years old and 135(54.7) of the 5-14 year old children reportedly used the ITNs the night before the second evaluation.
The findings of this study suggest that scaling-up of MTTT in combination with home-based management of malaria through community volunteers could greatly reduce the burden of malaria in less 15 old children. This could pave the way to pre-elimination in a malaria endemic area like Ghana.