Mass drug administration of long-acting antimalarials among children in Bossangoa health district, Central African Republic
The aim of this study was to evaluate the coverage and clinical impact of a mass drug administration (MDA) intervention implemented in children of the Bossangoa health district (Central African Republic), as well as to describe community perspectives.
Protracted conflict in CAR has led to widespread political unrest and fragile health systems. Hyperendemic malaria is the main cause of morbidity. Alongside global calls to prioritise malaria prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic, MSF initiated MDA for children within three communes of the Bossangoa health district.
The MDA intervention comprised three cycles of dihydroartemisin-piperaquine (DHA-PQ), given at four-week intervals among children (3 months - 15 years) between August and November 2020.
A two-stage cluster household survey was conducted at the end of the intervention.
Using routine MSF surveillance data, the following indicators were compared for 2018/2019/2020: consultations, confirmed malaria cases, positivity rates of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs); severe malaria admissions.
In addition, focus groups discussions with caregivers, community leaders, and community health workers were conducted following each cycle.