Impact of malaria control interventions on malaria infection and anaemia in low malaria transmission settings: a cross-sectional population-based study in Sudan

K.A. Elmardi*, I. Adam, E.M. Malik, H.T. Kafy, M.S. Abdin, I. Kleinschmidt, S. Kremers, J.S. Gubbels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The past two decades were associated with innovation and strengthening of malaria control interventions, which have been increasingly adopted at large scale. Impact evaluations of these interventions were mostly performed in moderate or high malaria transmission areas. This study aimed to evaluate the use and performance of malaria interventions in low transmission areas on malaria infections and anaemia. Methods: Data from the 2016 Sudan malaria indicator survey was used. Multi-level logistic regression analysis was used to assess the strength of association between real-life community-level utilization of malaria interventions [diagnosis, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) and long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs)] and the study outcomes: malaria infections and anaemia (both overall and moderate-to-severe anaemia). Results: The study analysis involved 26,469 individuals over 242 clusters. Malaria infection rate was 7.6%, overall anaemia prevalence was 47.5% and moderate-to-severe anaemia prevalence was 4.5%. The average community-level utilization was 31.5% for malaria diagnosis, 29.9% for ACTs and 35.7% for LLINs. The odds of malaria infection was significantly reduced by 14% for each 10% increase in the utilization of malaria diagnosis (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) per 10% utilization 0.86, 95% CI 0.78-0.95, p = 0.004). However, the odds of infection was positively associated with the utilization of LLINs at community-level (aOR per 10% utilization 1.20, 95% CI 1.11-1.29, p < 0.001). No association between malaria infection and utilization of ACTs was identified (aOR per 10% utilization 0.97, 95% CI 0.91-1.04, p = 0.413). None of the interventions was associated with overall anaemia nor moderate-to-severe anaemia. Conclusion: There was strong evidence that utilization of malaria diagnosis at the community level was highly protective against malaria infection. No protective effect was seen for community utilization of ACTs or LLINs. No association was established between any of the interventions and overall anaemia or moderate-to-severe anaemia. This lack of effectiveness could be due to the low utilization of interventions or the low level of malaria transmission in the study area. Identification and response to barriers of access and low utilization of malaria interventions are crucial. It is crucial to ensure that every suspected malaria case is tested in a timely way, notably in low transmission settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number927
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2022


  • Impact of malaria interventions
  • Malaria infection
  • Malaria control interventions
  • Anaemia
  • Low malaria transmission
  • Sudan

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