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Investigating the impact of timely treatment on malaria prevalence in children under 5 years of age in Zambia: a nested case-control study in a cross-sectional survey

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Document pages: 8 pages

Abstract: Background, in a country with high malaria incidence rate in Zambia, timely treatment can reduce morbidity and mortality. However, because there are asymptomatic chronic carriers, they do not seek treatment and do not maintain the infection pool in the population, so it is not known whether it has the role of effective prevention strategies. This study investigated the role of malaria case treatment as a prevention strategy in low, medium and high prevalence environments. method. Nested case-control design was adopted, and the data set of 2015 national large-scale malaria index survey was used. Self reported malaria cases (n   =   209) patients treated two weeks before the survey were matched with the control group (n   =   511). Who did not report malaria and took no actionreatment during the same period using nearest neighbour propensity score matching for age, sex, and district. The data were analysed using conditional logistic regression in STATA version 15.1. Results. The malaria cases were more likely to be from rural areas (), poorest households (), and who lived in improvised housing structures () compared with the controls. Data from low and moderate malaria endemic areas did not have sufficient cases for the analysis to proceed; however, data from high endemic areas showed borderline evidence () that prompt treatment reduces the risk of malaria by almost half in the short-term aOR 0.057 (95 CI 0.32–1.01). Conclusion. We found borderline evidence which suggests that prompt treatment of malaria cases even in high endemic areas has potential to reduce the risk of malaria by almost half in the short term.

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