Mass drug administration campaigns: comparing two approaches for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths prevention and control in selected Southern Malawi districts

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Fulltext

    Final published version, 1.99 MB, PDF document

  • Peter Makaula
  • Sekeleghe Amos Kayuni
  • Kondwani Chidzammbuyo Mamba
  • Grace Bongololo
  • Mathias Funsanani
  • Lazarus Tito Juziwelo
  • Janelisa Musaya
  • Furu, Peter

BACKGROUND: Mass drug administration is one of the key interventions recommended by WHO to control certain NTDs. With most support from donors, health workers distribute antihelminthic drugs annually in Malawi. Mean community coverage of MDA from 2018 to 2020 was high at 87% for praziquantel and 82% for albendazole. However, once donor support diminishes sustaining these levels will be challenging. This study intended to compare the use of the community-directed intervention approach with the standard practice of using health workers in delivery of MDA campaigns.

METHODS: This was a controlled implementation study carried out in three districts, where four health centres and 16 villages in each district were selected and randomly assigned to intervention and control arms which implemented MDA campaigns using the CDI approach and the standard practice, respectively. Cross-sectional and mixed methods approach to data collection was used focusing on quantitative data for coverage and knowledge levels and qualitative data to assess perceptions of health providers and beneficiaries at baseline and follow-up assessments. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using IBM SPSS software version 26 and NVivo 12 for Windows, respectively.

RESULTS: At follow-up, knowledge levels increased, majority of the respondents were more knowledgeable about what schistosomiasis was (41%-44%), its causes (41%-44%) and what STH were (48%-64%), while knowledge on intermediate host for schistosomiasis (19%-22%), its types (9%-13%) and what causes STH (15%-16%) were less known both in intervention and control arm communities. High coverage rates for praziquantel were registered in intervention (83%-89%) and control (86%-89%) communities, intervention (59%-79) and control (53%-86%) schools. Costs for implementation of the study indicated that the intervention arm used more resources than the control arm. Health workers and community members perceived the use of the CDI approach as a good initiative and more favorable over the standard practice.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of the CDI in delivery of MDA campaigns against schistosomiasis and STH appears feasible, retains high coverages and is acceptable in intervention communities. Despite the initial high costs incurred, embedding into community delivery platforms could be considered as a possible way forward addressing the sustainability concern when current donor support wanes.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Pan-African Clinical Trials Registry PACTR202102477794401, date: 25/02/2021.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)11
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2023. The Author(s).

ID: 378293758