Improved Access to Diagnostics for Rhodesian Sleeping Sickness around a Conservation Area in Malawi Results in Earlier Detection of Cases and Reduced Mortality
- 10.2991/jegh.k.200321.001How to use a DOI?
- Sleeping sickness; human African trypanosomiasis; rhodesian; rhodesiense; diagnosis; diagnostic; Malawi
Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense Human African Trypanosomiasis (rHAT) is a zoonotic disease transmitted by tsetse flies from wild and domestic animals. It presents as an acute disease and advances rapidly into a neurological form that can only be treated with melarsoprol, which is associated with a high fatality rate. Bringing diagnostic services for rHAT closer to at-risk populations would increase chances of detecting cases in early stages of disease when treatment is safer and more effective. In Malawi, most of the rHAT cases occur around Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve. Until 2013, diagnosis of rHAT in the region was only available at the Rumphi District Hospital that is more than 60 km away from the reserve. In 2013, Malawi’s Ministry of Health initiated a project to enhance the detection of rHAT in five health facilities around Vwaza Marsh by upgrading laboratories and training technicians. We report here a retrospective study that was carried out to evaluate the impact of improving access to diagnostic services on the disease stage at diagnosis and on mortality. Between August 2014 and July 2017, 2014 patients suspected of having the disease were tested by microscopy, including 1267 who were tested in the new facilities. This resulted in the identification of 78 new rHAT cases, of which six died. Compared with previous years, data obtained during this period indicate that access to diagnostic services closer to where people at the greatest risk of infection live promotes identification of cases in earlier stages of infection, and improves treatment outcomes.
- © 2020 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press International B.V.
- Open Access
- This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Cite this article
TY - JOUR AU - Marshal Lemerani AU - Fredrick Jumah AU - Paul Bessell AU - Sylvain Biéler AU - Joseph Mathu Ndung’u PY - 2020 DA - 2020/03/27 TI - Improved Access to Diagnostics for Rhodesian Sleeping Sickness around a Conservation Area in Malawi Results in Earlier Detection of Cases and Reduced Mortality JO - Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health SP - 280 EP - 287 VL - 10 IS - 4 SN - 2210-6014 UR - https://doi.org/10.2991/jegh.k.200321.001 DO - 10.2991/jegh.k.200321.001 ID - Lemerani2020 ER -