Background: Libya has been malaria-free since 1973. The risk of malaria re-introduction to Libya is increasing because of the increase in imported malaria cases due to immigration to Libya from countries where malaria is endemic. Cases are mainly due to P. falciparum and Sub-Saharan Africa is the most common origin. This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of malaria positive cases among illegal immigrants in the southern region of Libya.
Methods: A prospective, observational, multi-center study was conducted. Three hundred and three illegal immigrants from 12 different countries were included. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect the presence of serum malaria antibodies.
Results: A total of 303 immigrants were included in the study with mean age of 25.78±5.92 years. Of them, 195 tested positive for malaria antibodies. Two hundred and sixty nine of the participants came from Brak Al-Shati, 16 from Sebha and 18 from Bergan centers, with 175, 15 and 5 positive cases, respectively. Most of the positive cases (172) arrived in Libya within 1-10 months. The highest number of positive cases (70) came from Ghana followed by (40) from Niger and (39) from Bangladesh.
Illegal immigration is a major malaria re-introduction route. The issue of illegal immigration have to be treated urgently to stop the huge influx of illegal immigrants and increase the surveillance activities of infectious diseases in order to keep Libyan territories as a malaria-free lands.
Key words: Illegal immigration, Malaria, Libya.
Fadwa Jamaledden Mustafa Kamel Mahanay, Badereddin Bashir K. Annajar, Asma A Ali Oun(11-2021)
Serological study on the prevalence of malaria in samples from foreign workers in Tripoli, Libya
This study was primarily conducted to investigate the prevalence of imported malaria in a sample of foreign workers (n-1038) in Tripoli during the period from May 2006 to June 2007. A comprehensive review of malaria epidemiology in Libya in the last two decades was also given.
All samples were tested serologically using Malaria Rapid Diagnostic test and then examined using blood film technique.
Results showed that only 10 samples (1%) were tested positive for both malaria rapid diagnostic test and blood film. Nine of those infected were identified as Plasmodium falciparum and one as Plasmodium vivax.
This study confirms that the prevalence of malaria in legal foreign workers is low and the risk of re-introducing or transmitting malaria in the northern areas of the country is remote. It also gives no good reason for including malaria test among those requested for issuing health certificates to foreign workers.
The use of malaria Rapid Diagnostic test for malaria detection in this study was proved to be practical and reliable.
Although, the situation of imported malaria in Libya imposes no immediate threat to re-emerging of malaria in the country however, continuous surveillance and monitoring particularly to the southern regions and populations have to be taken in a great consideration. An updated new map of malaria vectors distribution in Libya is urgently needed to be able to outline areas of high risk of malaria transmission.
Fadwa Jamaledden Mustafa Kamel Mahanay, Badereddin Bashir K. Annajar(5-2009)