Background: Impact evaluations allow countries to assess public health gains achieved through malaria investments. This study uses routine health management information system (HMIS) data from Zanzibar to describe changes in confirmed malaria incidence and impact of case management and vector control interventions during 2000-2015.
Methods: HMIS data from 129 (82%) public outpatient facilities were analyzed using interrupted time series models to estimate the impact of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), indoor residual spray, and long-lasting insecticidal nets. Evaluation periods were defined as pre-intervention (January 2000 to August 2003), ACT-only (September 2003 to December 2005) and ACT plus vector control (2006-2015).
Findings: After accounting for climate, seasonality, diagnostic testing rates, and outpatient attendance, average monthly incidence of confirmed malaria showed no trend over the pre-intervention period 2000-2003 (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.998, 95% CI 0.995-1.000). During the ACT-only period (2003-2005), the average monthly malaria incidence rate declined compared to the pre-intervention period, showing an overall declining trend during the ACT-only period (IRR 0.984, 95% CI 0.978-0.990). There was no intercept change at the start of the ACT-only period (IRR 1.081, 95% CI 0.968-1.208), but a drop in intercept was identified at the start of the ACT plus vector control period (IRR 0.683, 95% CI 0.597-0.780). During the ACT plus vector control period (2006-2015), the rate of decline in average monthly malaria incidence slowed compared to the ACT-only period, but the incidence rate continued to show an overall slight declining trend during 2006-2015 (IRR 0.993, 95% CI 0.992-0.994).
Interpretation: This study presents a rigorous approach to the use of HMIS data in evaluating the impact of malaria control interventions. Evidence is presented for a rapid decline in malaria incidence during the period of ACT roll out compared to pre-intervention, with a rapid drop in malaria incidence following introduction of vector control and a slower declining incidence trend thereafter.
Keywords: Health management information systems (HMIS); Impact evaluation; Malaria; Zanzibar.