Background: More than half of malaria cases in Zimbabwe are concentrated in Manicaland Province, where seasonal malaria epidemics occur despite intensified control strategies. Recently, high levels of pyrethroid and carbamate resistance were detected in Anopheles funestus, the major malaria vector in eastern Zimbabwe. In response, a single round of indoor residual spraying (IRS) using pirimiphos-methyl (an organophosphate) was implemented in four high burden districts of Manicaland Province from November 1, 2014 to December 19, 2014. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of this programmatic switch in insecticides on malaria morbidity reported from health care facilities in Mutasa District, one of the worst affected districts in Manicaland Province. Methods: The number of weekly malaria cases for each health facility 24 months prior to the 2014 IRS campaign and in the subsequent high transmission season were obtained from passive case surveillance. Environmental variables were extracted from remote-sensing data sources and linked to each health care facility. Negative binomial regression was used to model the weekly number of malaria cases, adjusted for seasonality and environmental variables. Results: From December 2012 to May 2015, 124,206 malaria cases were reported from 42 health care facilities in Mutasa District. Based on a higher burden of malaria, 20 out of 31 municipal wards were sprayed in the district. Overall, 87.3% of target structures were sprayed and 92.1% of the target population protected. During the 6 months after the 2014 IRS campaign, a period when transmission would have otherwise peaked, the incidence of malaria was 38% lower than the preceding 24 months at health facilities in the sprayed wards. Conclusions: Pirimiphos-methyl had a measurable impact on malaria incidence and is an effective insecticide for the control of An. funestus in eastern Zimbabwe.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)