Kenya: Can School Malaria Screening Help Kids’ Health and Education?

Research area:

Health-Malaria

Country:

Kenya

Evaluation Sample:

4,446 children in 101 schools

Timeline: 

2010-2012

Intervention: 

Screening, Malaria treatment

Researchers: 

 

Partners:  

Kenya Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation

 

Malaria infection can have a negative impact on children’s health and their cognitive abilities, including sustained concentration. All this can ultimately hurt learning and make it difficult for children to succeed in school. This evaluation sought to measure whether intermittent screening of children in school and treatment of those infected with malaria would improve children’s health and learning.

Intervention
Once a school term, children were screened by public health workers using malaria rapid diagnostic tests, and children testing positive were treated with a six dose regimen of artemether-lumefantrine.

Results
Among children who underwent the screening and treatment, there was no overall benefit on the health, attention, or educational achievement. Screening and treatment didn’t reduce anaemia levels after 12 or 24 months, nor did it reduce malaria infection rates, as compared with children in the control group.