Evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on malaria and other infectious diseases in Uganda: Understanding comorbidities
To understand the burden chiefly of malaria (but also of TB and HIV/AIDS) among patients with COVID-19, and to assess the clinical consequences of potential interactions.
This project will:
- Determine the prevalence of malaria among COVID-19 patients and evaluate the risk of malaria following hospital discharge
- Determine the level of previous exposure to malaria among patients with COVID-19
- Document the impact of malaria on clinical outcomes of patients with COVID-19
- Assess the potential impact of currently used antimalarial drugs (artemether-lumefantrine and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine) on clinical outcomes among COVID-19 patients, when prescribed to treat their malaria infections
- Document the clinical spectrum of malaria among patients with COVID-19
- Evaluate the potential interactions between COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and TB
- Describe health workers’ perspectives on the management of malaria in COVID-19 patients.
Recognizing the heavy toll that malaria and other infectious diseases have on vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa, Malaria Consortium and Uganda’s Ministry of Health (MoH) will conduct a case series on COVID-19 patients — a descriptive clinical study that reports on patients with a particular condition who are receiving similar treatment. This research seeks to understand the burden chiefly of malaria (but also of TB and HIV/AIDS) among patients with COVID-19, and to assess the clinical consequences of potential interactions.
The case series will form part of the MoH’s ongoing clinical assessment and care administered to COVID-19 patients. It will be carried out at all COVID-19 treatment centres across Uganda and will include patients of all ages, and at various stages of infection, who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 according to World Health Organization (WHO) and MoH guidelines.
Study Design: Observational - Prospective Case series
In order to achieve these objectives, Malaria Consortium will:
- collate demographic and clinical information about patients in the study, including travel history, medical history, current symptoms and medications, and findings of clinical examinations
- train research assistants on study procedures, including infection prevention and control
- collect, test and analyse blood samples from patients, checking for previous exposure to malaria parasites, current malaria infection status, HIV, haematology and biochemistries
- use qualitative methods to assess health workers’ perspectives on the management of malaria in COVID-19 patients
- develop a report documenting the findings of the study and prepare outputs for peer review
- Prevalence of malaria among patients with COVID-19
- Clinical spectrum of malaria among patients with COVID-19
- Clinical outcomes of COVID-19 patients with malaria compared to those with no malaria
- Clinical outcomes among COVID-19 patients prescribed currently used antimalarial drugs as per current clinical indications
- Impact co-infections including malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB on COVID-19 outcomes