Household Barriers to Effective Malaria Prevention and Control in a Rural Community of North-Western Nigeria
Background: Malaria is endemic throughout Nigeria. Majority of Nigerians live in rural areas where subsistence farming is their main occupation. Most of them live below poverty line, earning less than $1.25 a day. In rural communities, many household factors constitute barriers to effective malaria prevention and control.
Objective: This study was conducted to assess the factors that constitute barriers to prevention and control of malaria in Gimba village, a rural community in Soba Local Government area of Kaduna State, Nigeria.
Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive study conducted during community diagnosis posting of final year medical students of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in July 2012. An interviewer- administered questionnaire was used to collect data from the total population of household heads in the community.
Results: Of the 686 respondents, most were farmers (69.7%). In terms of malaria prevention, most of the households (81.8%) own a mosquito net, but in 40.8% of the households, no member slept under a mosquito net the night before the survey. A significant proportion of the households (32.9%) use “otapiapia”, a cheap, unpatented, locally made pesticide as mosquito repellent, while 20.7% of the households do not use any method for malaria prevention. Respondents that had formal education, or with less than 5 children were more likely to use malaria preventive methods compared to those with no formal education or with more than 5 children. Regarding malaria treatment, most of the households, 73%, treated their last cases of presumptive malaria at chemist shops.
Conclusion: Some socio-demographic characteristics of respondents and household practices militate against effective malaria prevention and control in the study area. Health Education and Socioeconomic Development in rural areas are recommended for successful malaria prevention and control.
Keywords: Household, Barriers, Malaria, Prevention, Rural Community, Nigeria