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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

PATRICK KACHUR, S. et al. Prevalence of malaria parasitemia and accuracy of microscopic diagnosis in Haiti, October 1995. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.3, n.1, pp. 35-39. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891998000100006.

In October 1995 the Ministry of Public Health and Population in Haiti surveyed 42 health facilities for the prevalence and distribution of malaria infection. They examined 1 803 peripheral blood smears from patients with suspected malaria; the overall slide positivity rate was 4.0% (range, 0.0% to 14.3%). The rate was lowest among 1- to 4-year-old children (1.6%) and highest among persons aged 15 and older (5.5%). Clinical and microscopic diagnoses of malaria were unreliable; the overall sensitivity of microscopic diagnosis was 83.6%, specificity was 88.6%, and the predictive value of a positive slide was 22.2%. Microscopic diagnoses need to be improved, and adequate surveillance must be reestablished to identify areas where transmission is most intense. The generally low level of malaria is encouraging and suggests that intensified control efforts targeted to the areas of highest prevalence could further diminish the effect of malaria in Haiti.

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