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Jan 26, 2012
One in ten children has malaria (Angola)

Luanda, Angola

A recent household survey in Angola shows that 10% of children 6 months through 5 years have malaria according to blood smears examined through microscopy. Children living in the hyperendemic region were most likely to be infected (16%) according to the 2011 Angola Malaria Indicator Survey (AMIS) released today.

Malaria infection among children has decreased markedly since 2006-07 when 21% of children age 6 months-5 years were infected based on results from rapid tests; the comparable rapid test figure in 2011 is 13%. More than one-third of households in Angola own at least one insecticide-treated net (ITN). Use of ITNs has increased since 2006-07. In 2011, 26% of children age 6 months to 5 years slept under an ITN the night before the survey compared to only 18% in 2006-07. About one-quarter of pregnant women slept under an ITN the night before the 2011 survey. This marks only slight improvement from 22% in 2006-07.

The survey also tested children for anemia, which is a common symptom of malaria. Three percent of children 6 months to 5 years have severe anemia. This is a slight decrease from 4% in 2006-07. Severe anemia is most common (4%) in hyperendemic areas.

Coverage of intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) to prevent malaria in pregnancy has improved dramatically in recent years. Pregnant women should receive at least two doses of the antimalarial SP/Fansidar during an antenatal visit to prevent malaria (IPT). Eighteen percent of pregnant women in Angola received this recommended treatment. This is a six-fold increase from 2006-07 when only 3% of pregnant women received IPT. However, IPT coverage is most common in Luanda (29%), where malaria is least prevalent, and least common in hyperendemic areas (11%) where it is most needed.

About one-third of children under the age of five had a fever in the two weeks before the survey. Children with fever should be treated with an antimalarial, preferably ACT. Only 16% of children under age five with a fever received an antimalarial within a day of the fever and only 12% received ACT promptly. Seventy percent of children with fever received no antimalarial at all. The 2011 AMIS survey included testing of 3,485 children for anemia and malaria and interviews in more than 8,000 households.

About the survey: The 2011 Angola Malaria Indicator Survey was implemented by COSEP, Consultoria, Lda, and Consaúde, Lda, Cwith the coordination of the Ministy of Health and the National Malaria Control Program. ICF International provided technical assistance through the USAID-funded MEASURE DHS program. The survey was funded by USAID, and the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative.

Additional information can be obtained from COSEP-Consultoria, Lda, Rua Custódio Bento de Azevedo No. 71/73, Bairro Valódio – CP 5169, Luanda, Angola, Telefone: (244) 923 343 774 , Correio electrónico: miaveta@cosep-ang.com. Or, in the United States, information can be obtained from MEASURE DHS, ICF International, 11785 Beltsville Drive, Suite 300, Calverton, MD 20705, USA; Telephone: +1-301-572-0425; email: press@measuredhs.com.