201879 Infectious disease control guidelines in developing countries: A case study of malaria control policy in Uganda

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cara E. Sumi , School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Background: Programs to control of infectious diseases are most often carried out according to guidelines formulated by the international health community based on tested best practices. Despite the malaria control policy adhering to international recommendations, malaria is still a leading cause of under-five mortality. This study aimed at asking how malaria policy in Uganda is formulated and implemented and if the national control program is effective in reducing the country's malaria burden.

Methods: This study was conducted in two parts, first, through qualitative field research in Kampala, Uganda, employing both formal and informal interviews and participant observation methods. Second, recommendations based on the field research were incorporated into the development of a new intervention program to test the research conclusions.

Results: Field research concluded that the recommended malaria control policy was not being implemented and evidence-based interventions were not experiencing uptake on the ground. Involvement in formulation of policy was limited and the top-down program approach was failing to combat malaria effectively. Consequently, an alternate approach to delivering malaria interventions in Uganda is necessary.

Conclusions: New intervention approaches based on field study recommendations should be carried out in a pilot program in one district and outcomes compared to the results of the current control program. Unless this occurs there is a risk of the development of drug-resistance and high malaria mortality.

Learning Objectives:
Analyze how malaria control policy in Uganda is formulated and implemented. Design an alternative option to current malaria control policy.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student at The George Washington University, completing my undergraduate degree in Public Health in May 2009. I studied abroad and completed field research in a program with the School for International Training in Uganda.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.