EDCTP Alumni Network

Fostering excellence and collaboration in the next generation of researchers

Call Career Development Fellowship (CDF)
Programme EDCTP2
Start Date 2019-01-01
End Date 2021-06-30
Project Code TMA2017CDF-1878
Status Active


Monitoring safety of single-low dose primaquine co-administered with AL in routine healthcare practices: addressing potential implementation challenges and policy options for effective roll out (PRIMAQUINE Roll out)

Host Organisation

Institution Country
Tanzania, United Republic of

Current Organisation

Ifakara Health Institute

Current Job Title

Senior Research Scientist

Students Supervised

Type Name Title University Start Date End Date


Role Committee/board Start Date End Date
Member Tanganyika Medical Association Board 2004 Present
Member Ifakara Health Institute Research Ethics Review Committee 2018 Present


Institution Degree Year
Basel University, Switzerland PhD 2014-04-14
Copenhagen University, Denmark MSc 2007-08-11
Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMUCo), Tanzania, United Republic of MD 2004-09-23

Areas Of Specialisation




Wamoyi, Joyce
Malaria Journal

Background: Primaquine is a gametocytocidal drug recommended by the WHO in a single-low dose combined with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for the treatment and prevention of Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission. Safety monitoring concern and the lack of universal validated and approved primaquine pharmacovigilance tool is a challenge for a national rollout in many countries. This study aimed explored acceptance, reliability and perceived effectiveness of the primaquine roll out monitoring pharmacovigilance tool (PROMPT).

Methods: This study was conducted in three dispensaries in the Coastal region of Eastern Tanzania. The study held six in-depth interviews with healthcare providers and six participatory focus group discussions with malaria patients (3) and parents/guardians of sick children (3). Participants were purposively sampled. Thematic analysis was conducted with the aid of NVivo qualitative analysis software.

Results: Results: The respondents’ general acceptance and perceived effectiveness of the single-low dose primaquine and PROMPT was good. Screening procedure for treatment eligibility and explaining to patients about the possible adverse events was considered very useful for safety reasons. Crushing and dissolving of primaquine tablet to get the appropriate dose, particularly in children, was reported by all providers to be challenging. Transport cost and poor access to the health facility were the main reasons for a patient failing to return to the clinic for a scheduled follow-up visit. Treatment was perceived to be safe by both providers and patients and reported no case of a severe adverse event. Some providers were concern with the haemoglobin drop observed on day seven.

Conclusion: Single-low dose primaquine was perceived to be safe and acceptable among providers and patients. PROMPT demonstrated to be a reliable and user-friendly tool among providers. Further validation of the tool by involving the National Malaria Control Program is pivotal to address key challenges and facilitate the adoption of primaquine in the national policy.

Abdulla, S
Malaria Journal

Background: Primaquine is an important gametocytocidal drug that is combined with conventional malaria treatment for prevention of Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission. Primaquine has been administered together on the first or the last day of conventional treatment but the impact of primaquine timing has never been examined. This study aimed to assess safety, efficacy and optimal timing of single full-dose (0.75 mg/kg) primaquine when added to a standard 6-dose regimen of artemether-lumefantrine (AL).

Methods: In an individual-level randomized controlled trial, enrolled participants who were G6PD normal and had uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria were randomly assigned to receive: AL only; AL and a single 0.75 mg/kg primaquine dose on the first day of AL (day 1); or AL and single 0.75 mg//kg primaquine on the last day of AL (day 3). On days 2, 3, 4, 8, 11 and 15, gametocytes were assessed and quantified by microscope and quantitative nuclear acid sequence based quantification (QT-NASBA).

Results: Overall, 111 participants aged between 3 and 17 years were randomly allocated to receive AL only (36) or combined with primaquine on day 1 (38), or primaquine on day 3 (37). Day 4 gametocyte prevalence in AL + day 1 primaquine was half the level seen in either AL + day 3 primaquine or AL only arm (11% [4/35] vs 26% [8/31] and 27% [8/30], respectively) albeit not statistically significant. A similar trend of lower gametocyte in the AL + day 1 primaquine verses AL + day 3 primaquine or AL only arm was observed in mean gametocyte density. Mean (sd) haemoglobin level in AL + day 3 primaquine arm recovered from -0.42(1.2) g/dl on day 2 to 0.35 (1.5) g/dl on day 15 of follow up. This was not the case in AL only and AL + day 1 primaquine arms during the same follow-up period, although the difference was not statistically significant (p = 318). No serious adverse events reported in the study. Across arms, 23% (26/111) of participants reported a total of 31 mild adverse events and the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.477).

Conclusion: Primaquine administration on the first day of AL is well tolerated and as safe as later administration. Whilst the World Health Organization currently recommends a lower dose of primaquine (0.25 mg/kg), the findings are supportive of early primaquine administration when combined with artemisinin-combination therapy. ClinicalTrials.gov Registration NCT01906788.

Bousema, Teun
Journal of Infectious Diseases

Background: Since the World Health Organization recommended single low-dose (0.25 mg/kg) primaquine (PQ) in combination with artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) in areas of low transmission or artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum, several single-site studies have been conducted to assess efficacy.

Methods: An individual patient meta-analysis to assess gametocytocidal and transmission-blocking efficacy of PQ in combination with different ACTs was conducted. Random effects logistic regression was used to quantify PQ effect on (1) gametocyte carriage in the first 2 weeks post treatment; and (2) the probability of infecting at least 1 mosquito or of a mosquito becoming infected.

Results: In 2574 participants from 14 studies, PQ reduced PCR-determined gametocyte carriage on days 7 and 14, most apparently in patients presenting with gametocytemia on day 0 (odds ratio [OR], 0.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], .17-.28 and OR, 0.12; 95% CI, .08-.16, respectively). Rate of decline in gametocyte carriage was faster when PQ was combined with artemether-lumefantrine (AL) compared to dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) (P = .010 for day 7). Addition of 0.25 mg/kg PQ was associated with near complete prevention of transmission to mosquitoes.

Conclusions: Transmission blocking is achieved with 0.25 mg/kg PQ. Gametocyte persistence and infectivity are lower when PQ is combined with AL compared to DP.


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