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This paper examines malaria control strategies adopted by households in the Kassena-Nankana East and West Districts of Ghana. Primary data was obtained through a questionnaire survey among 174 respondents, who were selected from 7 communities. Indepth interviews and focus group discussions were also conducted in these communities. Secondary data from hospital records were also analysed. The analysis shows that although several malaria control programmes have been implemented in the study area, the incidence of malaria is still very high. The poor outcomes of malaria control interventions were attributed to the failure of programme managers to implement all components of the Integrated Malaria Control strategy, which entails measures to promote environmental quality and eliminate or reduce malaria vector and parasites. The malaria programmes tend to only emphasise the use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs), but many households were not using this strategy because of poverty, inconvenience, and the belief that the strategy is not effective for controlling malaria. Most people were rather using traditional malaria control strategies, including the drinking of herbs and avoiding sweets. It is recommended that malaria control programmes should seek to enhance environmental quality as well as control malaria parasites. The cost and treatment of insecticide treated nets must also be added to the National Health Insurance premium to make them more accessible to vulnerable groups.
Keywords: malaria control, insecticide-treated nets; herbal medicine; poverty, Ghana