Changes in malaria epidemiology in a rural area of Cubal, Angola

Type Journal Article - Malaria journal
Title Changes in malaria epidemiology in a rural area of Cubal, Angola
Volume 14
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 21
Background: Scarce information about malaria epidemiology in Angola has been published. The objective of this
study is to describe the epidemiology of malaria at the Hospital Nossa Senhora da Paz (Cubal, Angola) and the
fatality rate due to malaria (total and in children under five years) in the last five years.
Methods: A retrospective, observational study was performed at the Hospital Nossa Senhora da Paz, a 400-bed rural
hospital located in Benguela Province of Angola. The study population included all patients who attended the hospital
from January 2009 to December 2013. Outcome variables were calculated as follows: the percentage of malaria cases
(number of positive thick blood films, divided by the total thick blood films performed); the percentage of in-patients
for malaria (number of in-patients diagnosed with malaria, divided by the total number of in-patients); and, the fatality
rate (number of deaths due to malaria divided by the number of positive thick blood films).
Results: Overall, 23,106 thick blood films were performed, of which 3,279 (14.2%) were positive for Plasmodium
falciparum infection. During this five-year period, a reduction of 40% (95% CI 37-43%, p < 0.001) in the malaria-positive
slides was detected. Distribution of positive-malaria slides showed a seasonal distribution with a peak from December
to March (rainy season). An average annual reduction of 52% (95% CI 50-54%, p < 0.001) in the admissions due to
malaria was observed. The overall fatality rate due to malaria was 8.3%, and no significant differences in the annual
fatality rate were found (p = 0.553).
Conclusions: A reduction in the number of malaria cases and the number of admissions due to malaria has been
observed at the Hospital Nossa Senhora da Paz, during the last five years, and incidence along the study period
showed a seasonal distribution. All this information could be useful when deciding which malaria control strategies
have to be implemented in this area.

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