GP Malaria Conducts Malaria Active Case Detention in Zone 1, Northwest Guadalcanal
The Guadalcanal Province Malaria Division is conducting a 3-week malaria active case detection (ACD) pilot rollout program in Zone 1, a high burdened area, from Tamboko to Lambi in North West Guadalcanal.
The main purpose of the 3-week ACD is manifold, including, but not limited to, case management, treatment, G6PD testing for primaquine (PQ), GPS mapping and tracking, and distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs).
According to GP Malaria Senior Officer, Mr. Ledley Sekovania, the ACD program is carried out after the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) happened in May and June this year.
The three-month’ period then indicated that Zone 1 needs the ACD with Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) due to the burdened area indication.
“Zone 1’s ACD rollout is the result of the IRS back in May and June. It is a high-burdened area that needs direct, high-level intervention `in iCCM,” says Mr. Sekovania.
Mr. Sekovania states that during the two weeks, the GP Malaria team detected a few cases of Plasmodium vivax (PV) in Zone 1.
“We detected a few cases of PV in Zone 1, which correlates with the IRS findings three months prior. We therefore focus on tracking these cases down from households to households. We then do the G6PD deficiency test for the patient, and if that person is eligible, then we give the primaquine treatment for 14 days. We then have to follow up on each patient to see if they faithfully stick with their malaria treatments or not,” the GP Senior Malaria Officer stated.
He furthers, “The biggest challenge is when a patient does not complete the Primaquine dose because P. vivax can remain dormant in the liver for several days and can relapse if the dose is incomplete.
“Not only this, but patients who contract malaria do not take it very seriously. Most communities need to clean up their villages to avoid malaria breeding sites; most people do not sleep under their bed nets at night, and as mentioned, they fail to complete their malaria doses faithfully.
“This is on the behavioral level, which is why the GP Team will also conduct a Behavior Change Communication (BCC) awareness campaign in one of the populated communities this week,” Mr. Sekovania explains.
Mr. Ledley Sekovania acknowledges the National Vectorborne Disease Control Division, under the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, and the Honiara City Council for the logistic support within these 3 weeks.
“I would like to convey my sincere acknowledgement to the National Vectorborne Disease Control Division, under the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, and the Honiara City Council for their tremendous support for the ACD rollout program in Zone 1. We wouldn’t have done it ourselves,” he expresses.
Mr. Ledley also acknowledged Mr. Charlie Niboth Iroofa, the GP Programme Manager, VBDCP Division, for the supervision within the past 3 weeks.
Mr. Iroofa said despite the challenges, GP is on track with the national country’s 2030 Malaria Elimination Target.
This Strategic Plan for Malaria Control and Elimination 2021-2025 envisions four steps toward that goal:
- By the end of 2021, elimination-ready surveillance will be fully developed and operational in all low-burden provinces and then expanded in phases to cover all provinces by 2025.
- By 2025, the national API will be reduced to pre-2015 levels of 30 per thousand, and at least two provinces will have reached zero indigenous cases.
- After the end of 2030, there will be zero indigenous cases of malaria.
- By the end of 2034, the country will be certified malaria-free.
According to the Solomon Islands Strategic Plan for Malaria Control and Elimination 2021–2025, Guadalcanal Province contributes to 27.1% of the 86% of malaria annual parasitic incidence (API) in the country.
The other provinces are the Central Islands 10.5% and Malaita 33.1%. Honiara City alone contributes 15.2%.
The GP Malaria Team also consists of Year 2 public health students from Solomon Islands National University (SINU). These students had the opportunity to experience the ACD fieldworks.
The team will complete the 3-week Active Case Detection program in Zone 1 on Friday next week.
– GP Media