20 December 2019
The transition from malaria control to elimination requires understanding and targeting interventions among high-risk populations. In Vietnam, forest-goers are often difficult to test, treat and follow-up for malaria because they are highly mobile. If undiagnosed, forest-goers can maintain parasite reservoirs and contribute to ongoing malaria transmission.
A case–control study was conducted to identify malaria risk factors associated with forest-goers in three communes in Phu Yen Province, Vietnam. Cases (n = 81) were residents from the study area diagnosed with malaria and known to frequent forest areas. Controls (n = 94) were randomly selected forest-going residents from within the study area with no identified malaria infection. Participants were interviewed face-to-face using a standard questionnaire to identify malaria risk factors. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CI for risk factors after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics.
Among the cases, malaria infection varied by species: 66.7% were positive for Plasmodium falciparum, 29.6% for Plasmodium vivax, and 3.7% were diagnosed as mixed infection. Cases were less likely than controls to use treated nets (aOR = 0.31; 95% CI 0.12–0.80), work after dark (aOR = 2.93; 95% CI 1.35, 6.34), bath in a stream after dark (aOR = 2.44; 95% CI 1.02–5.88), and collect water after dark (aOR = 1.99; 95% CI 1.02–3.90).