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Cost-Effectiveness of Indoor Residual Spraying of Households with Insecticide for Malaria Prevention and Control in Tanzania

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  • 1 RTI International, Washington, District of Columbia;
  • 2 RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • 3 IMA World Health, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • 4 Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • 5 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

Using a decision-tree approach, we examined the cost-effectiveness of indoor residual spraying (IRS) of households with insecticide combined with insecticide-treated bed net (ITN) distribution (IRS + ITN), compared with ITN distribution alone in the programmatic context of mainland Tanzania. The primary outcome of our model was the expected economic cost to society per case of malaria averted in children ≤ 5 years of age. Indoor residual spraying of households with insecticide data came from a program implemented in northwest Tanzania from 2008 to 2012; all other data originated from the published literature. Through sensitivity and scenario analyses, the model also examined the effects of variations in insecticide resistance, malaria prevalence, and different IRS modalities. In the base case, IRS + ITN is expected to be more expensive and more effective than the ITN-only intervention (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio [ICER]: $152.36). The number of IRS rounds, IRS insecticide costs, ITN use, malaria prevalence, and the probability that a child develops symptoms following infection drove the interventions’ cost-effectiveness. Compared with universal spraying, targeted spraying is expected to lead to a higher number of malaria cases per person targeted (0.211–0.256 versus 0.050–0.076), but the incremental cost per case of malaria averted is expected to be lower (ICER: $41.70). In a scenario of increasing pyrethroid resistance, the incremental expected cost per case of malaria averted is expected to increase compared with the base case (ICER: $192.12). Tanzania should pursue universal IRS only in those regions that report high malaria prevalence. If the cost per case of malaria averted of universal IRS exceeds the willingness to pay, targeted spraying could provide an alternative, but may result in higher malaria prevalence.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Rachel Stelmach, Global Health Division, International Development Group, RTI International, 701 13th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005. E-mail: rstelmach@rti.org

Financial support: Funding for RS’s thesis, which formed the basis of this article, was provided by RTI and by Emory University’s Rollins Earn and Learn (REAL) Program. Funding for IRS operations reported in the study was through support provided to the Tanzania Vector Control Scale-up Project [Cooperative Agreement 621–A–00–10–00015–00] by the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Competing Interests: Three of the authors (RS, RC, and RR) are employed by RTI International, which conducted the IRS operations described in this article.

Authors’ addresses: Rachel Stelmach, Rajeev Colaço, and Richard Reithinger, Global Health Division, International Development Group, RTI International, 701 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, E-mails: rstelmach@rti.org, rcolaco@rti.org, and reithinger@rti.org. Shabbir Llaji, P.O. Box 9260, Plot 1657, Msasani Peninsula, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, E-mail: shabbirlalji@imaworldhealth.org. Deborah McFarland, Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: dmcfarl@emory.edu.

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