Community Perception on the Cause of Malaria and Childhood Convulsion Associated with Malaria in Selected Local Government Areas of Zamfara State, Nigeria
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Plasmodium is by far the best known of all protozoan parasites, because of the life threatening nature of the disease it causes to both humans and other animals. Fever with convulsion remains an important and one of the commonest emergencies among children in the tropics. The present research was carried out in six Local Government Areas of Zamfara State selected at random, two Local Government Areas (LGAs) from each of the three zones. Questionnaires were administered to 600 (100/LGA) subjects who were asked or assisted to fill them. Out of 600 persons interviewed, majority- 488(81.33%) had correct knowledge of the cause of the malaria, because they associated the disease with mosquito bites. There was highly significant variations between people’s perceptions on the cause of malaria in the study area (x2=634.79; df=10; p>0.01) (Table 1). Out of the 600 persons interviewed on childhood convulsion, majority of them 353(58.83%) associated the symptom with malaria. 247 (41.17%) of the respondents have different views as to the causes of
childhood convulsion. Health education campaign is necessary to enlighten the general public in the study area about the cause of malaria as well as cause of childhood convulsion associated with malaria towards finding better preventive and control measures against the world number one cause of infant mortality.
Key words: Community, perception, malaria, convulsion, Zamfara State