Reduced Plasmodium Infection in Primary School Children Following Universal Distribution of Insecticide Treated Bed Nets in Kasipul, Homa-Bay County, Kenya

Robert Omondi, Lucy Kamau

Abstract


Malaria is endemic in areas bordering Lake Victoria basin of Kenya. Untreated malaria in school children, result in reduced ability to concentrate and learn in school. Available data show that the overall prevalence of Plasmodium among primary school children in Kasipul was 25.8 % in 2013. There was a need to establish the current status of Plasmodium prevalence in Kasipul following mass distribution of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) in 2014. This study assessed the prevalence of Plasmodium infection among school children living in Kasipul and their reported use of bed nets, one year after mass distribution of ITN in Kasipul, Homa-Bay County. A cross-sectional study of 398 primary school pupils was conducted in the area. Pupil’s finger prick blood was used for malaria parasite detection by microscopy. Data on ITNs use was collected using a questionnaire. The overall prevalence of Plasmodium among children was 10.05%. The association between net ownership and Plasmodium prevalence among pupils was significant (c2= 14.46, df =1, p = 0.000). The study observed a significant decline in Plasmodium prevalence from 25.8% in 2011 to 10.05% in 2016, providing evidence that ITNs, which was the major control strategy implemented in Kasipul reduced Plasmodium infection in the study population. Overall pupil net ownership increased from 33% in June 2014 to 51% in 2016. In conclusion, the prevalence of Plasmodium infections reduced significantly following distribution of free ITNs in Kasipul. The study demonstrates that universal distribution of free ITNs is an effective strategy in reducing the prevalence of Plasmodium infection among school children.


Keywords


Insecticide treated nets; Malaria reduction; School Children; Homa-Bay.

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