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Prevalence of P. falciparum on Pulau Weh Island, Indonesia Following the December 2004 Tsunami.

1 August 2005


After the Tsunami which affected the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004, the public health risk of malaria and other vector borne diseases are of significant interest. This risk increased with brackish seawater that was stagnant throughout the region and with the number of people who had been displaced by the disaster. In an effort to identify areas of greatest need for malaria vector reducing resources, we visited fourteen Internally Displaced Person (lDP) camps on the island of Pulau Weh locally refered to as Sabang Island. Mobile clinics were established at each of the camps and persons were screened for signs and symptoms of malaria. Persons who displayed signs/symptoms were tested with HPR-2 a rapid diagnostic test specific for Plasmodium Jalciparum. Persons who tested positive were treated with Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). A total of 84 tests were performed and 10 positive P. Jalciparum cases detected. The number of tests performed per IDP camp ranged from 4 to 13 and the , number of positive P. Jalciparum malaria cases per IDP camp ranged from 0 to 4. Positive malaria tests for P. Falciparum were documented in the camps of Perikanan (2); Jaboi (4), Paya Keunekai (2), and Krueng Raya (2). All cases were classified as non severe and were treated with ACT therapy. All patients who were treated with ACT drug therapy had complete resolution of symptoms in 36 hours. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Malaria Emergency Technical and Operational Response team (MENTOR) were, informed of any IDP camps with positive results. These organizations then distributed mosquito netting treated with insecticide; and sprayed buildings and tents in areas determined to be of greatest need.


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