Options for the Delivery of Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Malaria to Children: A Community Randomised Trial
Background. Intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in children (IPTc) is a promising new intervention for the prevention of malaria but its delivery is a challenge. We have evaluated the coverage of IPTc that can be achieved by two different delivery systems in Ghana.
Methods. IPTc was delivered by volunteers in six villages (community-based arm) and by health workers at health centres or at Expanded Programme on Immunisation outreach clinics (facility based) in another six communities. The villages were selected randomly and drugs were administered in May, June, September and October 2006. The first dose of a three-dose regimen of amodiaquine plus sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine was administered under supervision to 3–59 month-old children (n = 964) in the 12 study villages; doses for days 2 and 3 were given to parents/guardians to administer at home.
Results. The proportion of children who received at least the first dose of 3 or more courses of IPTc was slightly higher in the community based arm (90.5% vs 86.6%; p = 0.059). Completion of the three dose regimen was high and similar with both delivery systems (91.6% and 91.7% respectively).
Conclusion. Seasonal IPTc delivered through community-based or facility-based systems can achieve a high coverage rate with the support and supervision of the district health management team. However, in order to maximise the impact of IPTc, both delivery systems may be needed in some settings.
PLoS ONE (2009) 4 (9): e7256 [doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007256]