Malaria in pregnancy: Knowledge, attitude and practices of pregnant women in Abeokuta, Nigeria

  • O A Idowu
  • C F Mafiana


Questionnaires were administered to four hundred and seventy pregnant women from two hospitals and a traditional birth home (TBH) in Abeokuta, Nigeria, to assess their knowledge, attitude and practices about malaria. A high percentage of respondents 49.1% attributed malaria to mosquito bites; knowledge of transmission was higher among women in the hospital (64.4%) than those in the TBH (36.3%) and multigravids (50.8%) than primigravids (44.4%). Other modes of transmission mentioned include drinking of bad water (11.0%), walking in hot sun (24.6%), consumption of too much palm oil (12.1%) and stress (3.3%). The respondentsí educational qualification was a significant (p<0.05) influence on the knowledge of transmission; respondents with post secondary school qualification (76.5%) attributed malaria more to mosquito bite. Most (61.3%) of the women claimed not to know how to prevent malaria especially those in the TBH (68.5%) compared to the women in the hospital (55.3%) (p< 0.05). However, (2.3%) of the women claimed that malaria cannot be prevented. Use of antimalaria drugs (self medication) was considered more as preventive measure by women in the TBH (16.1%) than women in the Hospital (12.2%). Avoid mosquito bites (6.8%), personal hygiene (1.5%) and consultations of doctors (4.0%) were the preferred method of prevention by women in the hospital. Window nets (34.0%), was the most commonly used measure to prevent mosquito bites while Insecticide Treated Net (ITN)(0.2%) was the least used. The need for education of women of childbearing age on the transmission, treatment and prevention of malaria especially those receiving antenatal care in traditional birth homes is hereby recommended.

Keywords: malaria, primigravids, multigravids, pregnancy, traditional birth home, Insecticide Treated Net.

Nigerian Journal of Parasitology Vol. 28 (2) 2007: pp. 61-64

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