Costs and cost-effectiveness of a large-scale mass testing and treatment intervention for malaria in Southern Province, Zambia

Malar J. 2015 May 20;14:211. doi: 10.1186/s12936-015-0722-3.


Background: A cluster, randomized, control trial of three dry-season rounds of a mass testing and treatment intervention (MTAT) using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) was conducted in four districts in Southern Province, Zambia.

Methods: Data were collected on the costs and logistics of the intervention and paired with effectiveness estimated from a community randomized control trial for the purpose of conducting a provider perspective cost-effectiveness analysis of MTAT vs no MTAT (Standard of Care).

Results: Dry-season MTAT in this setting did not reduce malaria transmission sufficiently to permit transition to a case-investigation strategy to then pursue malaria elimination, however, the intervention did substantially reduce malaria illness and was a highly cost-effective intervention for malaria burden reduction in this moderate transmission area. The cost per RDT administered was estimated to be USD4.39 (range: USD1.62-13.96) while the cost per AL treatment administered was estimated to be USD34.74 (range: USD3.87-3,835). The net cost per disability adjusted life year averted (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio) was estimated to be USD804.

Conclusions: The intervention appears to be highly cost-effective relative to World Health Organization thresholds for malaria burden reduction in Zambia as compared to no MTAT. However, it was estimated that population-wide mass drug administration is likely to be more cost-effective for burden reduction and for transmission reduction compared to MTAT.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use*
  • Artemether, Lumefantrine Drug Combination
  • Artemisinins / therapeutic use*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / economics*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethanolamines / therapeutic use*
  • Fluorenes / therapeutic use*
  • Malaria / drug therapy*
  • Mass Screening / economics*
  • Zambia


  • Antimalarials
  • Artemether, Lumefantrine Drug Combination
  • Artemisinins
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethanolamines
  • Fluorenes