Distribution of malaria patients seeking care in different types of health facilities during the implementation of National Malaria Elimination Programme

Gang Li, Donglan Zhang, Zhuo Chen, Da Feng, Xiaoyu Chen, Shangfeng Tang, Heejung Son, Zhenhua Wang, Yuanhang Xi, Zhanchun Feng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: China launched the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) in 2010 and set the goal that all health facilities should be able to diagnose malaria. Additionally, hospitals at all levels could treat malaria by 2015. To provide a reference for the control of imported malaria, a study was conducted on the distribution of malaria patients seeking care in different types of health facilities. Methods: There were two data sources. One was obtained through the Infectious Diseases Information Reporting Management System (IDIRMS), which only contained the name of health facilities and the number of cases. The other was obtained through multistage stratified cluster sampling. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to investigate the distribution of malaria patients attending different types of health facilities (hospitals, township hospitals, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), hospital tiers (county-level, prefecture-level, and provincial-level), and hospital levels (primary, secondary, and tertiary). Chi-square test was also used to compare the proportions of patients seeking care outside their current residence region between different types of hospitals. Point maps were drawn to visualize the spatial distribution of hospitals reporting malaria cases, and flow maps were created to show the spatial flow of malaria patients by using the ArcGIS software. Results: The proportions of malaria patients who sought care in hospitals, township hospitals, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were 81.7%, 14.7%, and 3.6%, respectively. For those who sought care in hospitals, the percentages of patients who sought care in provincial-level, prefecture-level and county-level hospitals were 17.4%, 60.5% and 22.1%, correspondingly; the proportions of patients who sought care in tertiary hospitals, secondary hospitals, and primary hospitals were 59.8%, 39.9%, and 0.3%, respectively. Moreover, the proportions of patients seeking care in hospitals within county and prefectural administrative areas were 18.2%, 63.4%, respectively. Conclusion: During the implementation of NMEP, malaria patients tended to seek care in tertiary hospitals and prefecture-level hospitals, and more than half of patients could be treated in hospitals in prefecture-level areas. In the current phase, it is necessary to establish referral system from county-level hospitals to higher-level hospitals for malaria treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131
JournalMalaria Journal
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Care-seeking behavior
  • Geographic variation
  • Geospatial distribution
  • Medical treatment preference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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