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Survey helps to inform Thailand’s malaria elimination strategy

10 March 2017

From May to August 2016 Malaria Consortium conducted an endline survey designed to evaluate the coverage and use of malaria preventive interventions and case management practices among those living in malaria endemic regions in Thailand.

This survey was the last of three consecutive surveys conducted to monitor the progress of key indicators towards the achievement of the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) goal to eliminate malaria.

A total of 2,125 households and 8,231 household members were included in the study covering all malaria endemic areas. The survey looked at mosquito net use and coverage, healthcare seeking, knowledge of malaria and practices of forest-goers.

Key findings from the data Malaria Consortium analysed revealed that the proportion of households that owned a sufficient number of treated nets was low at 40.3%, and only one quarter of the nets owned were effective long-lasting insecticidal nets. The survey also found that use of all insecticide-treated nets was low and, in particular, identified a gap in net use among households with a higher level of schooling or a higher income. Moreover, many households used nets that had lost their insecticide effectiveness because they were too old, or were using nets with holes or that were washed too frequently. Healthcare seeking among fever cases was relatively high (67.5 percent). However, healthcare seeking within 24 hours was low (26.1 percent). Knowledge of malaria in general was very high, but some gaps were found, such as use of treated nets and seeking a diagnostic test.

The findings and recommendations from the endline survey will help to inform the NMCP of its progress over the past four years. They highlight the gaps that still need to be addressed in the months and years ahead to help Thailand move forward with their goal of eliminating malaria by 2026.

A key feature that emerges from the results is the challenge of maintaining and increasing malaria indicators in the presence of reducing malaria transmission and diminishing perception of risk among Thailand’s population. This challenge does not only exist in Thailand, but also regionally, and will require novel tools, particularly for vector control, behaviour change and community mobilisation, if elimination is to be achieved.

The endline survey was funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Country: Thailand

 

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