Impact of Four Rounds of Mass Drug Administration with Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine Implemented in Southern Province, Zambia

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Aug;103(2_Suppl):7-18. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0659.


Over the past decade, Zambia has made substantial progress against malaria and has recently set the ambitious goal of eliminating by 2021. In the context of very high vector control and improved access to malaria diagnosis and treatment in Southern Province, we implemented a community-randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of four rounds of community-wide mass drug administration (MDA) and household-level MDA (focal MDA) with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHAP) implemented between December 2014 and February 2016. The mass treatment campaigns achieved relatively good household coverage (63-79%), were widely accepted by the community (ranging from 87% to 94%), and achieved very high adherence to the DHAP regimen (81-96%). Significant declines in all malaria study end points were observed, irrespective of the exposure group, with the overall parasite prevalence during the peak transmission season declining by 87.2% from 31.3% at baseline to 4.0% in 2016 at the end of the trial. Children in areas of lower transmission (< 10% prevalence at baseline) that received four MDA rounds had a 72% (95% CI = 12-91%) reduction in malaria parasite prevalence as compared with those with the standard of care without any mass treatment. Mass drug administration consistently had the largest short-term effect size across study end points in areas of lower transmission following the first two MDA rounds. In the context of achieving very high vector control coverage and improved access to diagnosis and treatment for malaria, our results suggest that MDA should be considered for implementation in African settings for rapidly reducing malaria outcomes in lower transmission settings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / administration & dosage*
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Artemisinins / administration & dosage*
  • Artemisinins / therapeutic use
  • Disease Eradication / methods
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Malaria, Falciparum / drug therapy
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / prevention & control*
  • Mass Drug Administration / methods*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quinolines / administration & dosage*
  • Quinolines / therapeutic use
  • Zambia / epidemiology


  • Antimalarials
  • Artemisinins
  • Quinolines
  • dihydroartemisinin
  • piperaquine