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Trop Med Int Health. 2008 Mar;13(3):410-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2008.02016.x. Epub 2008 Feb 19.

Changing pattern of malaria in Bissau, Guinea Bissau.

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Projecto de Saúde de Bandim, INDEPTH Network, Bissau, Guiné-Bissau.



To describe the epidemiology of malaria in Guinea-Bissau, in view of the fact that more funds are available now for malaria control in the country.


From May 2003 to May 2004, surveillance for malaria was conducted among children less than 5 years of age at three health centres covering the study area of the Bandim Health Project (BHP) and at the outpatient clinic of the national hospital in Bissau. Cross-sectional surveys were conducted in the community in different malaria seasons.


Malaria was overdiagnosed in both health centres and hospital. Sixty-four per cent of the children who presented at a health centre were clinically diagnosed with malaria, but only 13% of outpatient children who tested for malaria had malaria parasitaemia. Only 44% (963/2193) of children admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of malaria had parasitaemia. The proportion of positive cases increased with age. Among hospitalized children with malaria parasitaemia, those less than 2 years old were more likely to have moderate anaemia (RR = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.02-1.56) (P = 0.03) or severe anaemia (RR = 1.67; 95% CI: 1.25-2.24) (P = 0.0005) than older children. The prevalence of malaria parasitaemia in the community was low (3%, 53/1926).


In Bissau, the prevalence of malaria parasitaemia in the community is now low and malaria is over-diagnosed in health facilities. Laboratory support will be essential to avoid unnecessary use of the artemisinin combination therapy which is now being introduced as first-line treatment in Bissau with support from the Global Fund.

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