Volume 94, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Nairobi is considered a low-risk area for malaria transmission, but travel can influence transmission of malaria. We investigated the demographic characteristics and travel history of patients with documented fever and malaria in a study clinic in a population-based surveillance system over a 5-year period, January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2011. During the study period, 11,480 (68%) febrile patients had a microscopy test performed for malaria, of which 2,553 (22%) were positive. Malaria was detected year-round with peaks in January, May, and September. Children aged 5–14 years had the highest proportion (28%) of positive results followed by children aged 1–4 years (23%). Almost two-thirds of patients with malaria reported traveling outside Nairobi; 79% of these traveled to three counties in western Kenya. History of recent travel (i.e., in past month) was associated with malaria parasitemia (odds ratio: 10.0, 95% confidence interval: 9.0–11.0). Malaria parasitemia was frequently observed among febrile patients at a health facility in the urban slum of Kibera, Nairobi. The majority of patients had traveled to western Kenya. However, 34% reported no travel history, which raises the possibility of local malaria transmission in this densely populated, urban setting. These findings have important implications for malaria control in large Nairobi settlements.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 15 Apr 2015
  • Accepted : 18 Sep 2015
  • Published online : 06 Jan 2016

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