Rapid urban malaria appraisal (RUMA) in sub-Saharan Africa

Wang, Shr-Jie; Lengeler, Christian; Smith, Thoms A.; Vounatsou, Penelope; Cissé, Guéladio; Diallo, Diadie; Akogbeto, Martin; Mtasiwa, Deo; Teklehaimanot, Awash; Tanner, Marcel

Background: The rapid urban malaria appraisal (RUMA) methodology aims to provide a cost-effective tool to conduct rapid assessments of the malaria situation in urban sub-Saharan Africa and to improve the understanding of urban malaria epidemiology.

Methods: This work was done in Yopougon municipality (Abidjan), Cotonou, Dar es Salaam and Ouagadougou. The study design consists of six components: 1) a literature review, 2) the collection of available health statistics, 3) a risk mapping, 4) school parasitaemia surveys, 5) health facility-based surveys and 6) a brief description of the health care system. These formed the basis of a multi-country evaluation of RUMA's feasibility, consistency and usefulness.

Results: A substantial amount of literature (including unpublished theses and statistics) was found at each site, providing a good overview of the malaria situation. School and health facility-based surveys provided an overview of local endemicity and the overall malaria burden in different city areas. This helped to identify important problems for in-depth assessment, especially the extent to which malaria is over-diagnosed in health facilities. Mapping health facilities and breeding sites allowed the visualization of the complex interplay between population characteristics, health services and malaria risk. However, the latter task was very time-consuming and required special expertise. RUMA is inexpensive, costing around 8,500–13,000 USD for a six to ten-week period.

Conclusion: RUMA was successfully implemented in four urban areas with different endemicity and proved to be a cost-effective first approach to study the features of urban malaria and provide an evidence basis for planning control measures.

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Also Published In

Malaria Journal

More About This Work

Academic Units
Earth Institute
BioMed Central
Published Here
September 9, 2014