An epidemiological study to assess Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence and malaria control measures in Burkina Faso and Senegal
OBJECTIVE To investigate if the first national insecticide-treated bed-net campaign in Burkina Faso, done in 2010, was followed by a decrease in childhood malaria in a district with high baseline transmission of the disease. METHODS We obtained data on the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in children aged 2 weeks to 36 months from malaria surveys in 2009 and 2011. We assessed morbidity in children younger than 5 years by comparing data from the Nouna health district's health management information system before and after the campaign in 2010. We analysed mortality data from 2008 to 2012 from Nouna's health and demographic surveillance system. FINDINGS The bed-net campaign was associated with an increase in the reported use of insecticide-treated nets. In 2009, 73% (630/869) of children reportedly slept under nets. In 2011, 92% (449/487) did. The campaign had no effect on the proportion of young children with P. falciparum parasitaemia after the rainy season; 52% (442/858) in 2009 and 53% (263/499) in 2011. Cases of malaria increased markedly after the campaign, as did the number of children presenting with other diseases. The campaign was not associated with any changes in child mortality. CONCLUSION The 2010 insecticide-treated net campaign in Burkina Faso was not associated with a decrease in care-seeking for malaria or all-cause mortality in children younger than 5 years. The most likely explanation is the high coverage of nets in the study area before the campaign which could have had an effect on mosquito vectors, limiting the campaign's impact.