Monitoring malaria control in Khammouane province, Laos: an active case detection survey of Plasmodium falciparum malaria using the Paracheck rapid diagnostic test
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Y ShirayamaC Kuroiwa
In Khammouane province, Laos, over 5000 slide-positive malaria cases were reported at local health facilities in 1997. To combat the spread of malaria, insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and community health education were provided to the people in this province by the Lao Ministry of Health and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. In order to document the current malaria situation, an active case detection (ACD) survey using rapid diagnostic tests was conducted at 23 sites from June to July, the rainy season, in 2005. A total of 1711 villagers from 403 households participated in the survey. The proportion of positive cases was 0.7% (12/1711) with a range in each village of 0-8.2%. The low infection rate observed in this ACD survey was consistent with the decrease in the number of slide-positive malaria cases at local health facilities (from over 5000 cases to 536 cases), indicating the substantial progress made in malaria control. Although the reduction of malaria cases can be attributed to multiple factors, continued promotion of the proper use of ITNs as well as community-based testing and treatment services, especially in remote areas, may lead to a further reduction of malaria cases in the province.