• Case management of malaria in Swaziland, 2011-2015: on track for elimination?

      Dlamini, SV; Kosgei, RJ; Mkhonta, N; Zulu, Z; Makadzange, K; Zhou, S; Owiti, P; Sikhondze, W; Namboze, J; Reid, A; et al. (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2018-04-25)
      Objective: To assess adherence to malaria diagnosis and treatment guidelines (2010 and 2014) in all health care facilities in Swaziland between 2011 and 2015. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study involving all health care facilities that diagnosed and managed malaria cases in Swaziland. Patients' age, sex, diagnosis method and type of treatment were analysed. Results: Of 1981 records for severe and uncomplicated malaria analysed, 56% of cases were uncomplicated and 14% had severe malaria. The type of malaria was not recorded for 30% of cases. Approximately 71% of cases were confirmed by rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) alone, 3% by microscopy alone and 26% by both RDT and microscopy. Of the uncomplicated cases, 93% were treated with artemether-lumefantrine (AL) alone, 5% with quinine alone and 2% with AL and quinine. Amongst the severe cases, 11% were treated with AL alone, 44% with quinine alone and 45% with AL and quinine. For severe malaria, clinics and health centres prescribed AL alone more often than hospitals (respectively 13%, 12% and 4%, P = 0.03). Conclusion: RDTs and/or microscopy results are used at all facilities to inform treatment. Poor recording of malaria type causes difficulties in assessing the prescription of antimalarial drugs.
    • From diagnosis to case investigation for malaria elimination in Swaziland: is reporting and response timely?

      Dlamini, N; Zulu, Z; Kunene, S; Geoffroy, E; Ntshalintshali, N; Owiti, P; Sikhondze, W; Makadzange, K; Zachariah, R (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2018-04-25)
      Background: Swaziland is one of the southern African countries that aim to eliminate malaria by 2020. In 2010, the country introduced an Immediate Disease Notification System (IDNS) for immediate reporting of notifiable diseases, including malaria. Health facilities are to report malaria cases within 24 h through a toll-free telephone number (977), triggering an alert for case investigation at the patient's household within 48 h. We assessed the completeness of reporting in the IDNS, the subsequent case investigation, and whether it was done within the stipulated timelines. Methods: A cross-sectional study using routine country-wide data. Results: Of 1991 malaria cases notified between July 2011 and June 2015, 76% were reported in the IDNS, of which 68% were investigated-a shortfall of 24% in reporting and 32% in case investigations. Of the 76% of cases reported through the IDNS, 62% were reported within 24 h and 20% were investigated within 48 h. These shortcomings were most pronounced in hospitals and private facilities. Investigated cases (n = 1346) were classified as follows: 60% imported, 35% local and 5% undetermined. Conclusion: The utilisation of the IDNS for case reporting to trigger investigation is crucial for active surveillance. There is a need to address the reporting and investigation gaps identified to ensure that malaria cases receive appropriate interventions.
    • Low uptake of preventive interventions among malaria cases in Swaziland: towards malaria elimination

      Makadzange, K; Dlamini, N; Zulu, Z; Dlamini, S; Kunene, S; Sikhondze, W; Owiti, P; Geoffroy, E; Zachariah, R; Mengestu, TK (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2018-04-25)
      Settings: Swaziland is striving to achieve sustainable malaria elimination. Three preventive interventions are vital for reaching this goal: 1) effective household utilisation of long-lasting insecticide nets (LLINs), 2) indoor residual spraying (IRS), and 3) provision of chemoprophylaxis for those travelling to malaria-endemic areas. Objectives: To assess the uptake of preventive intervention among confirmed malaria cases. Design: A longitudinal study using nation-wide programme data from 2010 to 2015. Data on malaria cases from health facilities were sourced from the Malaria Surveillance Database System. Results: Of a total 2568 confirmed malaria cases in Swaziland, 2034 (79%) had complete data on case investigations and were included in the analysis. Of 341 (17%) individuals who owned LLINs, 169 (8%) used them; 338 (17%) had IRS and 314 (15%) slept in sprayed structures. Of 1403 travellers to areas at high malaria risk, 59 (4%) used any form of malaria prevention, including chemoprophylaxis. Conclusion: The uptake of all three key malaria prevention interventions is low, and could threaten the progress made thus far toward malaria elimination. Efforts to improve this situation, including qualitative research to understand the reasons for low uptake, are urgently needed.