Malaria in Sundargarh district, Odisha, India: Epidemiological and behavioral aspects from surveys

Anna Maria van Eijk, Sandhya Choubey, Punam Barla, Mohammed A. Haque, P. Nandini, Subrata Acharya, Steven A. Sullivan, Sanjib Mohanty, Sanghamitra Satpathi, Jane M. Carlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To characterize malaria and assist in prevention efforts, we conducted a series of epidemiological studies in Sundargarh district, India, as part of an NIH-funded International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research. In a published survey around Rourkela in 2013-2014 (N = 1307), malaria prevalence was found to be 8.3%. Using these data, villages were divided into low (<2%), medium (2-10%) and high (>10%) malaria prevalence, and risk factors assessed by type of village. In the six low malaria villages, four persons were positive by PCR; in the four medium malaria villages, prevalence was 7% (35 infections, 7 P. vivax); and in the three high malaria villages, prevalence was 21% (62 infections, 10 P. vivax and 5 mixed with P. vivax and P. falciparum). A total of 30.6% infections were submicroscopic and 40.6% were asymptomatic. Our analyses showed that the rainy season and male gender were risk factors for malaria; in high malaria villages, young age was an additional risk factor, and indoor and outdoor spraying was protective compared to no spraying. We undertook a subsequent behavioral survey in four of the medium and high malaria villages in 2017 to investigate the behavioral aspects of malaria risk. Among 500 participants in 237 households, adult men (15+ years) were more likely to be outside in the evening (34.5% vs. 7.9% among adult women 15+ years and 0.7% among children, p < 0.001), or to sleep outside (7.5% vs. 0.5% and 0%, respectively, p < 0.001). Although women were more likely to get up before 6 a.m. (86.6%, vs. 70.5% among men, 50.7% among children, p < 0.001), men were more likely to be outside in the early morning (77.6% among men, 11.2% among women, and 11.1% among children, p < 0.001). More children used insecticide treated nets the previous night (73.4%) than men (45.6%) or women (39.6%), and repellents were used by 29.5% of 234 households (insecticide creams were not used at all). Malaria control and elimination in India will need local approaches, and the promotion of repellent cream use by at-risk groups could be further explored in addition to mass-screen or treat programs in high-risk villages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105647
JournalActa Tropica
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Malaria risk factors
  • Mosquito control
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium vivax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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