Trends of Plasmodium falciparum prevalence in two communities of Muheza district North-eastern Tanzania: correlation between parasite prevalence, malaria interventions and rainfall in the context of re-emergence of malaria after two decades of progressively declining transmission

Ishengoma DS, Mmbando BP, Mandara CI, Chiduo MG, Francis F, Timiza W, Msemo H, Kijazi A, Lemnge MM, Malecela MN, Snow RW, Alifrangis M, Bygbjerg IC
Malar J. 2018;17

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BACKGROUND: Although the recent decline of malaria burden in some African countries has been attributed to a scale-up of interventions, such as bed nets (insecticide-treated bed nets, ITNs/long-lasting insecticidal nets, LLINs), the contribution of other factors to these changes has not been rigorously assessed. This study assessed the trends of Plasmodium falciparum prevalence in Magoda (1992-2017) and Mpapayu (1998-2017) villages of Muheza district, North-eastern Tanzania, in relation to changes in the levels of different interventions and rainfall patterns. METHODS: Individuals aged 0-19 years were recruited in cross-sectional surveys to determine the prevalence of P. falciparum infections in relation to different malaria interventions deployed, particularly bed nets and anti-malarial drugs. Trends and patterns of rainfall in Muheza for 35 years (from 1981 to 2016) were assessed to determine changes in the amount and pattern of rainfall and their possible impacts on P. falciparum prevalence besides of those ascribed to interventions. RESULTS: High prevalence (84-54%) was reported between 1992 and 2000 in Magoda, and 1998 and 2000 in Mpapayu, but it declined sharply from 2001 to 2004 (from 52.0 to 25.0%), followed by a progressive decline between 2008 and 2012 (to /= 20.0% in 2016 (both villages), but declined in the two villages to 98% in 2001 and was >/= 85.0% in 2004 in both villages; followed by fluctuations with coverage ranging from 35.0 to