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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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Typical Farmer’s Shelter.Exterior (A) and interior (B) of typical temporary shelters used by seasonal farm workers in northwest Ethiopia.
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pone.0143829.g002: Typical Farmer’s Shelter.Exterior (A) and interior (B) of typical temporary shelters used by seasonal farm workers in northwest Ethiopia.

Mentions: The majority of respondents (51.2%) reported a temporary shelter as their usual sleeping accommodation (Table 5). On farms, these are typically thatch structures constructed by the migrants during the farming season that can house up to 100 persons in very close quarters (Fig 2). However, ‘temporary shelter’ also includes any type of non-permanent structure used in towns or on farms. Approximately one-fifth of respondents indicated sleeping outside (20.5%) or in a house (18.2%). Within the various venue-types, temporary shelter was the most commonly reported accommodation for those on farms (64.2%) and on roads between farms (51.1%), while town respondents were more evenly distributed between temporary shelters (25.0%), houses (25.0%) and hotels (17.8%). Sleeping outside was more common among those on roads (25.5%) and in towns (26.3%) versus those on farms (17.2%), likely reflecting the established nature of existence for those who had secured farm employment.


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)

Typical Farmer’s Shelter.Exterior (A) and interior (B) of typical temporary shelters used by seasonal farm workers in northwest Ethiopia.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0143829.g002: Typical Farmer’s Shelter.Exterior (A) and interior (B) of typical temporary shelters used by seasonal farm workers in northwest Ethiopia.
Mentions: The majority of respondents (51.2%) reported a temporary shelter as their usual sleeping accommodation (Table 5). On farms, these are typically thatch structures constructed by the migrants during the farming season that can house up to 100 persons in very close quarters (Fig 2). However, ‘temporary shelter’ also includes any type of non-permanent structure used in towns or on farms. Approximately one-fifth of respondents indicated sleeping outside (20.5%) or in a house (18.2%). Within the various venue-types, temporary shelter was the most commonly reported accommodation for those on farms (64.2%) and on roads between farms (51.1%), while town respondents were more evenly distributed between temporary shelters (25.0%), houses (25.0%) and hotels (17.8%). Sleeping outside was more common among those on roads (25.5%) and in towns (26.3%) versus those on farms (17.2%), likely reflecting the established nature of existence for those who had secured farm employment.

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