Background: Recently the use of indoor residual spraying of insecticide (IRS) has greatly increased in Africa; however, limited data exist on the quantitative impacts of IRS on health outcomes in highly malaria endemic areas.
Methodology/principal findings: Routine data were collected on more than 90,000 patient visits at a single health facility over a 56 month period covering five rounds of IRS using three different insecticides. Temporal associations between the timing of IRS and the probability of a patient referred for microscopy having laboratory confirmed malaria were estimated controlling for seasonality and age. Considering patients less than five years of age there was a modest decrease in the odds of malaria following the 1(st) round of IRS using DDT (OR = 0.76, p<0.001) and the 2(nd) round using alpha-cypermethrin (OR = 0.83, p = 0.002). Following rounds 3-5 using bendiocarb there was a much greater decrease in the odds of malaria (ORs 0.34, 0.16, 0.17 respectively, p<0.001 for all comparisons). Overall, the impact of IRS was less pronounced among patients 5 years or older.
Conclusions/significance: IRS was associated with a reduction in malaria morbidity in an area of high transmission intensity in Uganda and the benefits appeared to be greatest after switching to a carbamate class of insecticide.