Malaria prevention: knowledge, attitude and practice in a Southwestern Nigerian community
AbstractAssessing and analyzing local malaria problems are a prerequisite for successful control interventions. We sought to assess the knowledge of the symptoms of malaria, attitude towards preventive measures as well as treatment seeking behaviors among members of the Ile-Ife community in southwestern Nigeria. A cross sectional study was carried out using a questionnaire, which was self or researcher administered to community members of semi-urban Ile-Ife. Analysis of “what respondents will do first” during malaria attack showed that 35.5%, 0.9% and 13.4% of respondents will use synthetic anti -malarials, consult a herbalist and use local herb, respectively, while 27.3%, 1.7% and 18.2% will go to the hospital, take spiritual/ritual waters for cure and just pray, respectively, with 3.0% of the respondents indicating that they will ignore the signs. Factors influencing respondents' choice of malaria treatment and preventive methods included cost, religious beliefs, perceived safety, convenience and respondents' state of health for 22.7%, 5.4%, 20.8%, 26.5% and 24.6% of the respondents, respectively. The use of insecticide impregnated net are uncommon amongst the respondents (0%). Treatment seeking practice in malaria was related to level of education and religion. We found that convenience and the severity of the disease affected respondents' choice of treatment in more than 50% of the cases. We suggest that malaria public enlightenment efforts should be intensified, effective malaria preventive methods be made affordable and that support be provided to make malaria treatments at public hospitals free.
Keywords: malaria, attitudes, insecticide treated nets
African Journal of Biomedical Research Vol. 8(1) 2005: 25-29