Trends in malaria prevalence and health related socioeconomic inequality in rural western Kenya: Results from repeated household malaria cross-sectional surveys from 2006 to 2013

Vincent Were, Ann M. Buff, Meghna Desai, Simon Kariuki, A. M. Samuels, Penelope Phillips-Howard, Feiko O.Ter Kuile, S. P. Kachur, Louis Wilhelmus Niessen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Objective The objective of this analysis was to examine trends in malaria parasite prevalence and related socioeconomic inequalities in malaria indicators from 2006 to 2013 during a period of intensification of malaria control interventions in Siaya County, western Kenya. Methods Data were analysed from eight independent annual cross-sectional surveys from a combined sample of 19 315 individuals selected from 7253 households. Study setting was a health and demographic surveillance area of western Kenya. Data collected included demographic factors, household assets, fever and medication use, malaria parasitaemia by microscopy, insecticide-treated bed net (ITN) use and care-seeking behaviour. Households were classified into five socioeconomic status and dichotomised into poorest households (poorest 60%) and less poor households (richest 40%). Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) were calculated using a multivariate generalised linear model accounting for clustering and cox proportional hazard for pooled data assuming constant follow-up time. Results Overall, malaria infection prevalence was 36.5% and was significantly higher among poorest individuals compared with the less poor (39.9% vs 33.5%, aPR=1.17; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.23) but no change in prevalence over time (trend p value <0.256). Care-seeking (61.1% vs 62.5%, aPR=0.99; 95% CI 0.95 to 1.03) and use of any medication were similar among the poorest and less poor. Poorest individuals were less likely to use Artemether-Lumefantrine or quinine for malaria treatment (18.8% vs 22.1%, aPR=0.81, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.91) while use of ITNs was lower among the poorest individuals compared with less poor (54.8% vs 57.9%; aPR=0.95; 95% CI 0.91 to 0.99), but the difference was negligible. Conclusions Despite attainment of equity in ITN use over time, socioeconomic inequalities still existed in the distribution of malaria. This might be due to a lower likelihood of treatment with an effective antimalarial and lower use of ITNs by poorest individuals. Additional strategies are necessary to reduce socioeconomic inequities in prevention and control of malaria in endemic areas in order to achieve universal health coverage and sustainable development goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere033883
JournalBMJ open
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Keywords

  • Kenya
  • equity
  • inequalities
  • malaria
  • medication
  • socioeconomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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