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A Venue-Based Survey of Malaria, Anemia and Mobility Patterns among Migrant Farm Workers in Amhara Region, Ethiopia.

Schicker RS, Hiruy N, Melak B, Gelaye W, Bezabih B, Stephenson R, Patterson AE, Tadesse Z, Emerson PM, Richards FO, Noland GS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Reported net use the previous night was 8.8% overall but 74.6% among those with LLIN access.Nearly one-third (30.1%) reported having fever within the past two weeks, of whom 31.3% sought care.Cost and distance were the main reported barriers to seeking care.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Background: Mobile populations present unique challenges to malaria control and elimination efforts. Each year, a large number of individuals travel to northwest Amhara Region, Ethiopia to seek seasonal employment on large-scale farms. Agricultural areas typically report the heaviest malaria burden within Amhara thereby placing migrants at high risk of infection. Yet little is known about these seasonal migrants and their malaria-related risk factors.

Methods and findings: In July 2013, a venue-based survey of 605 migrant laborers 18 years or older was conducted in two districts of North Gondar zone, Amhara. The study population was predominantly male (97.7%) and young (mean age 22.8 years). Plasmodium prevalence by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) was 12.0%; One quarter (28.3%) of individuals were anemic (hemoglobin <13 g/dl). Nearly all participants (95.6%) originated from within Amhara Region, with half (51.6%) coming from within North Gondar zone. Around half (51.2%) slept in temporary shelters, while 20.5% regularly slept outside. Only 11.9% of participants had access to a long lasting insecticidal net (LLIN). Reported net use the previous night was 8.8% overall but 74.6% among those with LLIN access. Nearly one-third (30.1%) reported having fever within the past two weeks, of whom 31.3% sought care. Cost and distance were the main reported barriers to seeking care. LLIN access (odds ratio [OR] = 0.30, P = 0.04) and malaria knowledge (OR = 0.50, P = 0.02) were significantly associated with reduced Plasmodium infection among migrants, with a similar but non-significant trend observed for reported net use the previous night (OR = 0.16, P = 0.14).

Conclusions: High prevalence of malaria and anemia were observed among a young population that originated from relatively proximate areas. Low access to care and low IRS and LLIN coverage likely place migrant workers at significant risk of malaria in this area and their return home may facilitate parasite transport to other areas. Strategies specifically tailored to migrant farm workers are needed to support malaria control and elimination activities in Ethiopia.

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Reported Home Areas.Distribution of reported home areas within Amhara Region (lower right) and North Gondar Zone (upper left) among migrant farm workers in Metema and West Armachiho districts, Ethiopia, July 2013.
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pone.0143829.g001: Reported Home Areas.Distribution of reported home areas within Amhara Region (lower right) and North Gondar Zone (upper left) among migrant farm workers in Metema and West Armachiho districts, Ethiopia, July 2013.

Mentions: This survey was conducted in the adjoining districts of Metema (permanent resident population: 122,000; elevation: 717m) and West Armachiho (permanent resident population: 36,000; elevation: 652m) in Amhara Region, Ethiopia (Fig 1). The two districts were considered as a single survey domain. The survey took place 17–26 July, 2013 at the beginning of the farming season and immediately prior to the start of the rains that year.


A Venue-Based Survey of Malaria, Anemia and Mobility Patterns among Migrant Farm Workers in Amhara Region, Ethiopia.

Schicker RS, Hiruy N, Melak B, Gelaye W, Bezabih B, Stephenson R, Patterson AE, Tadesse Z, Emerson PM, Richards FO, Noland GS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Reported Home Areas.Distribution of reported home areas within Amhara Region (lower right) and North Gondar Zone (upper left) among migrant farm workers in Metema and West Armachiho districts, Ethiopia, July 2013.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4664424&req=5

pone.0143829.g001: Reported Home Areas.Distribution of reported home areas within Amhara Region (lower right) and North Gondar Zone (upper left) among migrant farm workers in Metema and West Armachiho districts, Ethiopia, July 2013.
Mentions: This survey was conducted in the adjoining districts of Metema (permanent resident population: 122,000; elevation: 717m) and West Armachiho (permanent resident population: 36,000; elevation: 652m) in Amhara Region, Ethiopia (Fig 1). The two districts were considered as a single survey domain. The survey took place 17–26 July, 2013 at the beginning of the farming season and immediately prior to the start of the rains that year.

Bottom Line: Reported net use the previous night was 8.8% overall but 74.6% among those with LLIN access.Nearly one-third (30.1%) reported having fever within the past two weeks, of whom 31.3% sought care.Cost and distance were the main reported barriers to seeking care.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Background: Mobile populations present unique challenges to malaria control and elimination efforts. Each year, a large number of individuals travel to northwest Amhara Region, Ethiopia to seek seasonal employment on large-scale farms. Agricultural areas typically report the heaviest malaria burden within Amhara thereby placing migrants at high risk of infection. Yet little is known about these seasonal migrants and their malaria-related risk factors.

Methods and findings: In July 2013, a venue-based survey of 605 migrant laborers 18 years or older was conducted in two districts of North Gondar zone, Amhara. The study population was predominantly male (97.7%) and young (mean age 22.8 years). Plasmodium prevalence by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) was 12.0%; One quarter (28.3%) of individuals were anemic (hemoglobin <13 g/dl). Nearly all participants (95.6%) originated from within Amhara Region, with half (51.6%) coming from within North Gondar zone. Around half (51.2%) slept in temporary shelters, while 20.5% regularly slept outside. Only 11.9% of participants had access to a long lasting insecticidal net (LLIN). Reported net use the previous night was 8.8% overall but 74.6% among those with LLIN access. Nearly one-third (30.1%) reported having fever within the past two weeks, of whom 31.3% sought care. Cost and distance were the main reported barriers to seeking care. LLIN access (odds ratio [OR] = 0.30, P = 0.04) and malaria knowledge (OR = 0.50, P = 0.02) were significantly associated with reduced Plasmodium infection among migrants, with a similar but non-significant trend observed for reported net use the previous night (OR = 0.16, P = 0.14).

Conclusions: High prevalence of malaria and anemia were observed among a young population that originated from relatively proximate areas. Low access to care and low IRS and LLIN coverage likely place migrant workers at significant risk of malaria in this area and their return home may facilitate parasite transport to other areas. Strategies specifically tailored to migrant farm workers are needed to support malaria control and elimination activities in Ethiopia.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus