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The Role of Community Participation in Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Childhood Malaria in South-Eastern Ghana

SK Kpormegbe
CK Ahorlu


Background: Malaria remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Ghana. Very little attention was paid to community participation in malaria control in the past and this has affected most of the desired outcomes. The recent recognition of the importance of community participation in malaria control had informed the  implementation of Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Childhood Malaria (IPTc). The intervention was  implemented in the Shime sub-district of the Keta District in Ghana and this paper reports the evaluation of the community involvement aspect of the project.
Method: Semi-structured questionnaire were administered to 105 randomly selected caregivers. A focus group discussion was organized for nine Community Assistants (CAs) and 16 in-depth interviews were conducted with opinion leaders. The tools were used to investigate community attitudes towards, level of awareness and acceptance of the intervention. The benefits of the project and the preferred mode of drug delivery were also investigated.
Results: Findings indicated that, the people were aware of the project in their communities. They showed high level of participation and have accepted the intervention as their own. There was a reported reduction in hospital  attendance from 52.4% to 6.7%, which led to perceived savings for caregivers. The people preferred that community members deliver the drugs because they are more approachable, caring and sensitive to their health needs than the nurses.

Conclusion: The approach adopted by entrusting the intervention into the hands of the community members by allowing them to select their own CAs coupled with the observation of necessary community protocols had led to high level of participation, acceptance and successful outcome of the intervention.

Keywords: Community Participation, Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Childhood Malaria, Home Management of Malaria, Acceptability, Ghana.