Rapid Urban Malaria Appraisal (RUMA) III: epidemiology of urban malaria in the municipality of Yopougon (Abidjan).Malar J. 2006 Apr 04; 5:29.MJ
Currently, there is a significant lack of knowledge concerning urban malaria patterns in general and in Abidjan in particular. The prevalence of malaria, its distribution in the city and the fractions of fevers attributable to malaria in the health facilities have not been previously investigated.
A health facility-based survey and health care system evaluation was carried out in a peripheral municipality of Abidjan (Yopougon) during the rainy season of 2002, applying a standardized Rapid Urban Malaria Appraisal (RUMA) methodology.
According to national statistics, approximately 240,000 malaria cases (both clinical cases and laboratory confirmed cases) were reported by health facilities in the whole of Abidjan in 2001. They accounted for 40% of all consultations. In the health facilities of the Yopougon municipality, the malaria infection rates in fever cases for different age groups were 22.1% (under one year-olds), 42.8% (one to five years-olds), 42.0% (> five to 15 years-olds) and 26.8% (over 15 years-olds), while those in the control group were 13.0%. 26.7%, 21.8% and 14.6%, respectively. The fractions of malaria-attributable fever were 0.12, 0.22, 0.27 and 0.13 in the same age groups. Parasitaemia was homogenously detected in different areas of Yopougon. Among all children, 10.1% used a mosquito net (treated or not) the night before the survey and this was protective (OR = 0.52, 95% CI 0.29-0.97). Travel to rural areas within the last three months was frequent (31% of all respondents) and associated with a malaria infection (OR = 1.75, 95% CI 1.25-2.45).
Rapid urbanization has changed malaria epidemiology in Abidjan and endemicity was found to be moderate in Yopougon. Routine health statistics are not fully reliable to assess the burden of disease, and the low level of the fractions of malaria-attributable fevers indicated substantial over-treatment of malaria.