Mortality and morbidity from malaria after stopping malaria chemoprophylaxis.
Greenwood BM., David PH., Otoo-Forbes LN., Allen SJ., Alonso PL., Armstrong Schellenberg JR., Byass P., Hurwitz M., Menon A., Snow RW.
Gambian children who had received malaria chemoprophylaxis for a variable period of time during their first 5 years of life were followed to determine whether they experienced a rebound in mortality or in morbidity from malaria during the period after chemoprophylaxis was stopped. The risk of dying between the ages of 5 years, when chemoprophylaxis was stopped, and 10 years was no higher among children who had received chemoprophylaxis with Maloprim (pyrimethamine plus dapsone) for some period during their first 5 years of life than among children who had received placebo (21 vs. 24 deaths) and the beneficial effect of chemoprophylaxis on mortality observed during the first 5 years of life was sustained. The incidence of clinical attacks of malaria during the year after medication was stopped was significantly higher among children who had previously received Maloprim for several years than among children who had previously received placebo. However, at the end of this year, there was no significant difference in spleen rate, parasite rate or packed cell volume between the 2 groups of children. Thus, stopping chemoprophylaxis after a period of several years increased the risk of clinical malaria but did not result in a rebound in mortality in Gambian children. However, the number of deaths recorded was small, so a modest effect on mortality cannot be excluded.