Malaria interventions - vector control using long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) or indoor residual spraying, chemoprevention and case management including diagnosis and treatment of infections - are highly effective and affordable. These interventions have led to a significant reduction in malaria prevalence, and a marked decline in morbidity and mortality associated. Despite these increasing control efforts, this parasitic disease is still persisting in most African countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors associated with malaria infection in the Obang Valley (North Western Cameroon) in order to identify potential bottlenecks in the malaria elimination procedure. A structured questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 100 individuals visiting the Mbakong Health Centre or attending the Obang Government High School. Association between malaria infection and individual household or environmental risk factors was investigated using logistic regression models. Malaria infection was not significantly associated with LLIN possession (p = 0.999) since 97% of interviewees received them free of charge. The age and habits (having each bed cover by a LLIN, time when doors and windows are closed or antimalarial medicine used) of study participants were however significantly associated with malaria infection (p < 0.033). These findings suggest that although the interventions recommended by the World Health Organization may help in reducing malaria prevalence and burden, it is of prime importance to also tackle associated risk factors which are mostly related to individual habits.
Key words: Malaria, risk factors, Obang Valley, Cameroon.
CI, confidence interval; GTS, Global Technical Strategy; IQR, interquartile range; ITN, insecticide-treated net; LLIN, Long Lasting Insecticidal Net; MDG, Millennium Development Goals; SD, standard deviation; WHO, World Health Organization.
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