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Improving prompt access to malaria diagnostics and treatment in rural remote areas using financial benefit for community health workers in Kilosa district, Tanzania

Authors Simba DO, Kakoko D, Nyamhanga T, Mrango Z, Mujinja P

Received 3 May 2018

Accepted for publication 18 July 2018

Published 18 October 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 137—146

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RRTM.S172944

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Mario Rodriguez-Perez


Daudi Omari Simba,1 Deodatus Kakoko,2 Tumaini Nyamhanga,3 Zakayo Mrango,4 Phare Mujinja2

1Department of Community Health, School of Public Health and Social Sciences, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania; 2Department of Behavioural Sciences, School of Public Health and Social Sciences, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania; 3Department of Development Studies, School of Public Health and Social Sciences, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania; 4National Institute for Medical Research, Kilosa Station, Kilosa, Tanzania

Purpose: Improving access to malaria treatment in rural remote areas remains a major challenge facing innovative strategies, such as Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDOs) and Community Health Workers (CHWs) programs in Tanzania. This study tested the effectiveness of a financial benefit approach to motivate CHWs to improve prompt access to malaria treatment.
Patients and methods: We applied a quasi-experimental study design in rural-remote areas in Kilosa district, Tanzania. Febrile children in selected intervention areas were provided access to malaria diagnostic and treatment at a minimal fee to CHWs and compared with non-intervention areas. We measured impact using difference in differences (DID) analysis.
Results: At baseline, 870 children <5 years of age were recruited and 1,127 in post-intervention. The DID in prompt access to malaria diagnostics and treatment was 28.0% in favor of intervention. A net pre and post decrease (DID=24.1%) in seeking care from public facilities was observed, signifying decrease in workload. Incidentally, knowledge on malaria treatment increased in intervention area (DID 11%–21%).
Conclusion: Using the financial benefit approach, CHWs were able to significantly improve prompt access to malaria diagnostics and treatment in rural remote areas. Scaling up of the strategy might speed up the pace toward achieving national target of accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment by 80% in 2020.

Keywords: financing, artemether-lumefantrine, malaria, children under-five years, rural areas, prompt access, community health workers

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