• Community coverage of an antimalarial combination of artesunate and amodiaquine in Makamba Province, Burundi, nine months after its introduction.

      Gerstl, S; Cohuet, S; Edoh, K; Brasher, C; Lesage, A; Guthmann, J P; Checchi, F; Epicentre, Paris, France. sibylle.gerstl@epicentre.msf.org (BioMed Central, 2007)
      BACKGROUND: In 2003, artesunate-amodiaquine (AS+AQ) was introduced as the new first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Burundi. After confirmed diagnosis, treatment was delivered at subsidized prices in public health centres. Nine months after its implementation a study was carried out to assess whether children below five years of age with uncomplicated malaria were actually receiving AS+AQ. METHODS: A community-based study was conducted in Makamba province. Randomly selected households containing one or more children under five with reported fever onset within fourteen days before the study date were eligible. Case-management information was collected based on caregiver recall. A case definition of symptomatic malaria from observations of children presenting a confirmed malaria episode on the day of the survey was developed. Based on this definition, those children who had probable malaria among those with fever onset in the 14 days prior to the study were identified retrospectively. Treatment coverage with AS+AQ was then estimated among these probable malaria cases. RESULTS: Out of 195 children with fever on the day of the study, 92 were confirmed as true malaria cases and 103 tested negative. The combination of 'loss of appetite', 'sweating', 'shivering' and 'intermittent fever' yielded the highest possible positive predictive value, and was chosen as the case definition of malaria. Out of 526 children who had had fever 14 days prior to the survey, 165 (31.4%) were defined as probable malaria cases using this definition. Among them, 20 (14.1%) had been treated with AS+AQ, 10 with quinine (5%), 68 (41%) received non-malaria treatments, and 67 got traditional treatment or nothing (39.9%). Most people sought treatment from public health centres (23/99) followed by private clinics (15/99, 14.1%). The median price paid for AS+AQ was 0.5 US$. CONCLUSION: AS+AQ was the most common treatment for patients with probable malaria at public health centres, but coverage was low due to low health centre utilisation and apparently inappropriate prescribing. In addition, AS+AQ was given to patients at a price ten times higher than the subsidized price. The availability and proper use of ACTs should be monitored and maximized after their introduction in order to have a significant impact on the burden of malaria.
    • Death rates from malaria epidemics, Burundi and Ethiopia.

      Guthmann, J P; Bonnet, M; Ahoua, L; Dantoine, F; Balkan, S; Van Herp, M; Tamrat, A; Legros, D; Brown, V; Checchi, F; Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Saint-Maurice, France. jp.guthmann@invs.sante.fr (2007-01)
      Death rates exceeded emergency thresholds at 4 sites during epidemics of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Burundi (2000-2001) and in Ethiopia (2003-2004). Deaths likely from malaria ranged from 1,000 to 8,900, depending on site, and accounted for 52% to 78% of total deaths. Earlier detection of malaria and better case management are needed.
    • Forecasting malaria incidence based on monthly case reports and environmental factors in Karuzi, Burundi, 1997-2003.

      Gomez-Elipe, A; Otero, A; Van Herp, M; Aguirre-Jaime, A; Public Health Department, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, C/Arzobispo Morcillo 2, 28029 Madrid, Spain. agomez.elipe@gmail.com (BMC, 2007)
      BACKGROUND: The objective of this work was to develop a model to predict malaria incidence in an area of unstable transmission by studying the association between environmental variables and disease dynamics. METHODS: The study was carried out in Karuzi, a province in the Burundi highlands, using time series of monthly notifications of malaria cases from local health facilities, data from rain and temperature records, and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Using autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) methodology, a model showing the relation between monthly notifications of malaria cases and the environmental variables was developed. RESULTS: The best forecasting model (R2adj = 82%, p < 0.0001 and 93% forecasting accuracy in the range +/- 4 cases per 100 inhabitants) included the NDVI, mean maximum temperature, rainfall and number of malaria cases in the preceding month. CONCLUSION: This model is a simple and useful tool for producing reasonably reliable forecasts of the malaria incidence rate in the study area.
    • Malaria, malnutrition and MSF. Médecins Sans Frontières.

      Evans, D; Médecins Sans Frontières, Glebe, NSW. office@sydney.msf.org (Medical Society of Australia, 2008-02-21)
      This is a personal account of my brief time in Burundi as a volunteer doctor with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) at the beginning of 2001. Burundi is a small nation in central Africa (bounded by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania) which has suffered from problems between the Hutu and Tutsi "ethnic groups", similar to those for which Rwanda is better known. Unlike Rwanda, the war between government troops and rebel forces continues in Burundi. MSF has been in Burundi since 1992, providing basic healthcare, nutrition programs, surgical services and epidemiological intervention. In late 2000, a malaria epidemic began in Burundi's highland regions where transmission is normally low, and thus the population largely not immune. Malnutrition rates also increased and MSF rapidly expanded its usual program in an attempt to control these new health problems.
    • Ranking malaria risk factors to guide malaria control efforts in African highlands

      Protopopoff, Natacha; Van Bortel, Wim; Speybroeck, Niko; Van Geertruyden, Jean-Pierre; Baza, Dismas; D'Alessandro, Umberto; Coosemans, Marc; Department of Parasitology, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; Medecins Sans Frontieres Brussels, Belgium; Department of Animal Health, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; School of Public Health, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium; Programme de Lutte contre les Maladies Transmissibles et Carentielles, Ministry of Health, Bujumbura, Burundi; Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium (2009-11-25)
      INTRODUCTION: Malaria is re-emerging in most of the African highlands exposing the non immune population to deadly epidemics. A better understanding of the factors impacting transmission in the highlands is crucial to improve well targeted malaria control strategies. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A conceptual model of potential malaria risk factors in the highlands was built based on the available literature. Furthermore, the relative importance of these factors on malaria can be estimated through "classification and regression trees", an unexploited statistical method in the malaria field. This CART method was used to analyse the malaria risk factors in the Burundi highlands. The results showed that Anopheles density was the best predictor for high malaria prevalence. Then lower rainfall, no vector control, higher minimum temperature and houses near breeding sites were associated by order of importance to higher Anopheles density. CONCLUSIONS: In Burundi highlands monitoring Anopheles densities when rainfall is low may be able to predict epidemics. The conceptual model combined with the CART analysis is a decision support tool that could provide an important contribution toward the prevention and control of malaria by identifying major risk factors.
    • A significant increase in kdr in Anopheles gambiae is associated with an intensive vector control intervention in Burundi highlands.

      Protopopoff, N; Verhaeghen, K; Van Bortel, W; Roelants, P; Marcotty, T; Baza, D; D'Alessandro, U; Coosemans, M; Department of Parasitology, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. nprotopopoff@itg.be (2008-12)
      OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: In Burundi, the occurrence of the knock down resistance (kdr) mutation in Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) was determined for six consecutive years within the framework of a vector control programme. Findings were also linked with the insecticide resistance status observed with bioassay in An. gambiae s.l. and An. funestus. RESULTS: The proportion of An. gambiae s.l. carrying the East Leu-Ser kdr mutation was 1% before the spraying intervention in 2002; by 2007 it was 86% in sprayed valleys and 67% in untreated valleys. Multivariate analysis showed that increased risk of carrying the kdr mutation is associated with spraying interventions, location and time. In bioassays conducted between 2005 and 2007 at five sites, An. funestus was susceptible to permethrin, deltamethrin and DDT. Anopheles gambiae s.l. remained susceptible or tolerant to deltamethrin and resistant to DDT and permethrin, but only when kdr allele carriers reached 90% of the population. CONCLUSIONS: The cross-resistance against DDT and permethrin in Karuzi suggests a possible kdr resistance mechanism. Nevertheless, the homozygous resistant genotype alone does not entirely explain the bioassay results, and other mechanisms conferring resistance cannot be ruled out. After exposure to all three insecticides, homozygote individuals for the kdr allele dominate among the surviving An. gambiae s.l. This confirms the potential selection pressure of pyrethroids on kdr mutation. However, the high occurrence of the kdr mutation, even at sites far from the sprayed areas, suggests a selection pressure other than that exerted by the vector control programme.
    • Spatial targeted vector control in the highlands of Burundi and its impact on malaria transmission.

      Protopopoff, N; Van Bortel, W; Marcotty, T; Van Herp, M; Maes, P; Baza, D; D'Alessandro, U; Coosemans, M; Department of Parasitology, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000 Antwerp, Belgium. nprotopopoff@itg.be (BMC, 2007)
      BACKGROUND: Prevention of malaria epidemics is a priority for African countries. The 2000 malaria epidemic in Burundi prompted the government to implement measures for preventing future outbreaks. Case management with artemisinin-based combination therapy and malaria surveillance were nationally improved. A vector control programme was initiated in one of the most affected highland provinces. The focal distribution of malaria vectors in the highlands was the starting point for designing a targeted vector control strategy. The objective of this study was to present the results of this strategy on malaria transmission in an African highland region. METHODS: In Karuzi, in 2002-2005, vector control activities combining indoor residual spraying and long-lasting insecticidal nets were implemented. The interventions were done before the expected malaria transmission period and targeted the valleys between hills, with the expectation that this would also protect the populations living at higher altitudes. The impact on the Anopheles population and on malaria transmission was determined by nine cross-sectional surveys carried out at regular intervals throughout the study period. RESULTS: Anopheles gambiae s.l. and Anopheles funestus represented 95% of the collected anopheline species. In the valleys, where the vector control activities were implemented, Anopheles density was reduced by 82% (95% CI: 69-90). Similarly, transmission was decreased by 90% (95% CI: 63%-97%, p = 0.001). In the sprayed valleys, Anopheles density was further reduced by 79.5% (95% CI: 51.7-91.3, p < 0.001) in the houses with nets as compared to houses without them. No significant impact on vector density and malaria transmission was observed in the hill tops. However, the intervention focused on the high risk areas near the valley floor, where 93% of the vectors are found and 90% of the transmission occurs. CONCLUSION: Spatial targeted vector control effectively reduced Anopheles density and transmission in this highland district. Bed nets have an additional effect on Anopheles density though this did not translate in an additional impact on transmission. Though no impact was observed in the hilltops, the programme successfully covered the areas most at risk. Such a targeted strategy could prevent the emergence and spread of an epidemic from these high risk foci.
    • Spatial targeted vector control is able to reduce malaria prevalence in the highlands of Burundi.

      Protopopoff, N; Van Bortel, W; Marcotty, T; Van Herp, M; Maes, P; Baza, D; D'Alessandro, U; Coosemans, M; Department of Parasitology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. nprotopopoff@itg.be (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2008-07)
      In a highland province of Burundi, indoor residual spraying and long-lasting insecticidal net distribution were targeted in the valley, aiming also to protect the population living on the hilltops. The impact on malaria indicators was assessed, and the potential additional effect of nets evaluated. After the intervention--and compared with the control valleys--children 1-9 years old in the treated valleys had lower risks of malaria infection (odds ratio, OR: 0.55), high parasite density (OR: 0.48), and clinical malaria (OR: 0.57). The impact on malaria prevalence was even higher in infants (OR: 0.14). Using nets did not confer an additional protective effect to spraying. Targeted vector control had a major impact on malaria in the high-risk valleys but not in the less-exposed hilltops. Investment in targeted and regular control measures associated with effective case management should be able to control malaria in the highlands.
    • Vector control in a malaria epidemic occurring within a complex emergency situation in Burundi: a case study.

      Protopopoff, N; Van Herp, M; Maes, P; Reid, T; Baza, D; D'Alessandro, U; Van Bortel, W; Coosemans, M; Department of Parasitology, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. nprotopopoff@itg.be (BMC, 2007)
      BACKGROUND: African highlands often suffer of devastating malaria epidemics, sometimes in conjunction with complex emergencies, making their control even more difficult. In 2000, Burundian highlands experienced a large malaria outbreak at a time of civil unrest, constant insecurity and nutritional emergency. Because of suspected high resistance to the first and second line treatments, the provincial health authority and Médecins Sans Frontières (Belgium) decided to implement vector control activities in an attempt to curtail the epidemic. There are few reported interventions of this type to control malaria epidemics in complex emergency contexts. Here, decisions and actions taken to control this epidemic, their impact and the lessons learned from this experience are reported. CASE DESCRIPTION: Twenty nine hills (administrative areas) were selected in collaboration with the provincial health authorities for the vector control interventions combining indoor residual spraying with deltamethrin and insecticide-treated nets. Impact was evaluated by entomological and parasitological surveys. Almost all houses (99%) were sprayed and nets use varied between 48% and 63%. Anopheles indoor resting density was significantly lower in treated as compared to untreated hills, the latter taken as controls. Despite this impact on the vector, malaria prevalence was not significantly lower in treated hills except for people sleeping under a net. DISCUSSION: Indoor spraying was feasible and resulted in high coverage despite being a logistically complex intervention in the Burundian context (scattered houses and emergency situation). However, it had little impact on the prevalence of malaria infection, possibly because it was implemented after the epidemic's peak. Nevertheless, after this outbreak the Ministry of Health improved the surveillance system, changed its policy with introduction of effective drugs and implementation of vector control to prevent new malaria epidemics. CONCLUSION: In the absence of effective drugs and sufficient preparedness, present study failed to demonstrate any impact of vector control activities upon the course of a short-duration malaria epidemic. However, the experience gained lead to increased preparedness and demonstrated the feasibility of vector control measures in this specific context.