Malaria control in the municipality of San Esteban, Honduras

Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2009 Mar;25(3):213-7. doi: 10.1590/s1020-49892009000300004.


Objectives: To assess the burden of malaria in San Esteban, Department of Olancho, Honduras, and provide recommendations for control.

Methods: Malaria causes appreciable morbidity in San Esteban. In 2006, health workers reported an increase in malaria cases and requested recommendations for control. In 2005, 385 cases (Plasmodium vivax, 316; P. falciparum, 69) were detected from 4 007 blood smears in the San Esteban laboratory (slide positivity rate = 9.6%). During May-July 2006, we assessed the burden of malaria and made recommendations. We reviewed epidemiologic data from slide-confirmed malaria cases in 2005 and 2006 and conducted a knowledge, attitudes, and practices survey in households to assess malaria diagnostic, treatment, and prevention practices.

Results: During May-July 2006, 143 laboratory-confirmed malaria cases were detected (P. vivax, 134; P. falciparum, 9) in San Esteban, compared with 104 (P. vivax, 79; P. falciparum, 25) in May-July 2005. From January 2005 to July 2006, 538 cases were detected in San Esteban, with increased frequency in May-October and the highest incidence in children 0-14 years old. We administered 112 surveys in 19 communities. Seventy percent of respondents reported a history of malaria in a household member, with the highest frequency reported in mothers (45%) and children under 14 years old (37%). Most households did not have mosquito protection such as bed nets, screens, or indoor residual insecticide.

Conclusions: Malaria is ongoing in San Esteban, with increased incidence in children. We recommend increased availability and promotion of insecticide-treated bed nets, improved timing and coverage of indoor residual spraying, and improved community malaria practices through education sessions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Honduras / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / prevention & control*
  • Malaria, Vivax / epidemiology*
  • Malaria, Vivax / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult