The epidemiology of malaria in Kutubu, Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea, before and during a private sector initiative for malaria control

Feterl, Marshall, Graves, Patricia, Seehofer, Liesel, Warner, Jeffrey, Wood, Peter, Miles, Kevin, and Hutton, Ross (2017) The epidemiology of malaria in Kutubu, Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea, before and during a private sector initiative for malaria control. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 2 (1). pp. 1-18.

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Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a significant malaria burden, is resource constrained, and has isolated populations with limited access to health services. Home-based management is a key element of the national program that supports strategies of early detection, diagnosis and treatment. We describe the epidemiology of malaria near Lake Kutubu in the Southern Highlands Province through reported data on suspected and confirmed malaria in patients accessing public health facilities or using a novel, incentivised, social marketing approach for malaria treatment at the village level. Monthly case data reported by nine health facilities and 14 village-based providers, known as Marasin Stoa Kipas (MSK), were extracted from outpatient registers and MSK malaria case forms. Descriptive statistics of diagnostic use, monthly incidence, test positivity rate and species distribution were estimated. Summary statistics of service delivery demonstrate patient access and diagnostic coverage in program areas. From May 2005 to September 2013, 15,726 individuals were tested with either rapid diagnostic test and/or microscopy at health facilities, and 42% had a positive result for malaria (n= 6604); of these 67.1% (n=4431) were positive for P. falciparum (alone or mixed) and 32.9% were positive for non-P. falciparum species (alone or mixed). From October 2007 to September 2013, 9687 individuals were tested with either RDT and/or microscopy at MSK sites and 44.2% (n=4283) tested positive for malaria; of these, 65.3% (n=2796) were positive for P. falciparum, while 34.7% (n=1487) were positive for non-P. falciparum species. Up to April 2010 there was an intermittent and upward trend in the reported incidence of all species of confirmed malaria, reaching 50 per 1000 population per month for both sites combined, followed by a steady decline to four per 1000 population per month in 2013, with P. vivax the most common infection. This study is the most recent longitudinal overview of malaria in the Southern Highlands since 2003. It outlines patient access to a community-based model of care. The analysis shows changes in health facility versus MSK use, a strongly decreasing trend in incidence of confirmed malaria from 2010 to 2013, and a shift from predominantly P. falciparum to P. vivax infection.

Item ID: 50266
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2414-6366
Keywords: malaria, Papua New Guinea, Kutubu, Southern Highlands, social marketing, EDAT, public-private partnerships
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© 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

Funders: Oil Search Foundation
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2017 05:01
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320211 Infectious diseases @ 30%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420202 Disease surveillance @ 70%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 50%
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