Background: In malaria-endemic countries, malaria prevention and treatment are critical for child health. In the context of intervention scale-up and rapid changes in endemicity, projections of intervention impact and optimized program scale-up strategies need to take into account the consequent dynamics of transmission and immunity. Methods: The new Spectrum-Malaria program planning tool was used to project health impacts of Insecticide-Treated mosquito Nets (ITNs) and effective management of uncomplicated malaria cases (CMU), among other interventions, on malaria infection prevalence, case incidence and mortality in children 0-4 years, 5-14 years of age and adults. Spectrum-Malaria uses statistical models fitted to simulations of the dynamic effects of increasing intervention coverage on these burdens as a function of baseline malaria endemicity, seasonality in transmission and malaria intervention coverage levels (estimated for years 2000 to 2015 by the World Health Organization and Malaria Atlas Project). Spectrum-Malaria projections of proportional reductions in under-five malaria mortality were compared with those of the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia, for given (standardized) scenarios of ITN and/or CMU scale-up over 2016-2030. Results: Proportional mortality reductions over the first two years following scale-up of ITNs from near-zero baselines to moderately higher coverages align well between LiST and Spectrum-Malaria - as expected since both models were fitted to cluster-randomized ITN trials in moderate-to-high-endemic settings with 2-year durations. For further scale-up from moderately high ITN coverage to near-universal coverage (as currently relevant for strategic planning for many countries), Spectrum-Malaria predicts smaller additional ITN impacts than LiST, reflecting progressive saturation. For CMU, especially in the longer term (over 2022-2030) and for lower-endemic settings (like Zambia), Spectrum-Malaria projects larger proportional impacts, reflecting onward dynamic effects not fully captured by LiST. Conclusions: Spectrum-Malaria complements LiST by extending the scope of malaria interventions, program packages and health outcomes that can be evaluated for policy making and strategic planning within and beyond the perspective of child survival.
- Child health
- Health impact
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health