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Analysis of asymptomatic and clinical malaria in urban and suburban settings of southwestern Ethiopia in the context of sustaining malaria control and approaching elimination



Malaria intervention in Ethiopia has been strengthened significantly in the past decade. The Ethiopian government recently stratified the country based upon annual parasite incidence into malaria free, low, moderate and high transmission strata. Districts with low transmission were targeted for indigenous transmission elimination. Surveillance on malaria disease incidence is needed for planning control and elimination efforts.


Clinical malaria was monitored prospectively in health facilities in Jimma town, Oromia Region, southwestern Ethiopia from July 2014 to June 2015. Seasonal cross-sectional parasite prevalence surveys in local communities were conducted in 2014 and 2015 in eight kebeles. Case report forms were administered to obtain sociodemographic and epidemiological information from patients.


A total of 1434 suspected malaria cases were examined from the health facilities and 428 confirmed malaria cases were found. Among them, 327 (76.4 %) cases were Plasmodium vivax, 97 (22.7 %) were Plasmodium falciparum, and 4 (0.9 %) were mixed infection of P. vivax and P. falciparum. The annual malaria incidence rate was 1.7 cases per 1000 people at risk. Parasite prevalence in the community was less than 3 %. Household ownership of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) was 47.3 % (1173/2479) and ITN usage was 37.9 %. All ITNs were long-lasting insecticidal nets, and repellent use was not found in the study area. Being male and traveling were the significant risk factors for P. falciparum malaria. For P. vivax malaria, risk factors included occupation and history of malaria illness during the preceding 30 days.


Epidemiological evidence suggested low clinical malaria incidence and prevalence in Jimma town. More aggressive measures may be needed to further suppress vivax transmission. Strategies should be planned targeting sustained control and elimination.

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