SHORT COMMUNICATION: Urban malaria in Dodoma and Iringa, Tanzania
Cross sectional malaria parasitaemia and entomological surveys were carried out in urban Iringa and Dodoma in Tanzania. A total of 395 and 392 schoolchildren (age range= 6-15 years) were screened for malaria parasites in Iringa and Dodoma, respectively. Plasmodium falciparum was the predominant malaria parasite (Iringa= 100%, Dodoma= 97.8%). Malaria parasitaemia was observed in 14.9% and 12% of the schoolchildren in Iringa and Dodoma, respectively. The geometric mean parasite density for P. falciparum was higher (632 parasites/μl) in Iringa than in Dodoma (74.1 parasites/μl). The average spleen rates were 0.5% and 2% in Iringa and Dodoma, respectively. A slightly higher haemoglobin level was observed among schoolchildren in Dodoma (10.2g/dl) than in Iringa (9.5g/dl). Only a few Anopheles gambiae sensu lato were collected indoors in the two areas. On the average 47.3% and 80% of the children in Iringa and Dodoma, respectively were sleeping under mosquito nets. Although malaria endemicity in the two municipalities is low, unplanned rapid urbanisation is likely to change malaria epidemiology in Tanzania. Continuous malaria and mosquito density surveillance should therefore, form an in integral part of the malaria control strategies in urban areas. Communities should be continuously sensitised to use insecticide-treated mosquito nets and strengthen community-based environmental management to minimise malaria breeding sites.
Keywords: urban, malaria, schoolchildren, Tanzania
Tanzania Health Research Bulletin Vol. 8 (2) 2006: pp. 115-118