Studies on the Prevalence, Knowledge, and Practices Toward Malaria in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria
The present study was designed to assess malaria prevalence in cluster households, knowledge, and practices of people towards malaria, as well as the extent of coverage of Government’s distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLITN) using cluster samples in Owerri West L.G.A. of Imo State Nigeria. Ethical clearance for the study was obtained from the University Research Ethics Committee, Local Government Health authorities as well as from the heads of respective households used in the study. Malaria parasitemia was determined using rapid diagnostic test kit ((ICT COMBO, Core Diagnostic, U.K). Other data was collected using pre- tested questionnaires from the adults in each household sampled. Analysis of 16 household clusters revealed 25.7% prevalence of malaria. More males (27.5%) than females (24.3%) subjects investigated had malaria infection. Teenagers (10-19yrs) had the highest malaria prevalence rate and were followed by Children aged 0-9years. A significantly higher percentage (79.8%; p<0.05) of the households knew that mosquito bites transmit malaria. Other factors linked to malaria included drinking of dirty water (12.4%) and eating too much oil (8.9%). Fifty-eight percent of the households knew that insecticide treated nets can be used to prevent mosquito bite, while 3.4% of them reported to use such nets. Only 6.7% of the households had Long Lasting Insecticide Nets distributed by the State government. A highly significant percent (80.9%) (p<0.05) of the households did not have the LLIN. These results suggest that the cluster method could indeed serve to estimate the prevalence of malaria with reasonable precision and may also be used to demonstrate as well as predict the reduction in prevalence of malaria and most common diseases. The cluster method in addition, could be used to enhance awareness campaigns on malaria control especially with regards to the improvement in the distribution and actual utilization of the Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets in the study area.
Keywords: Cluster sampling, Malaria, Prevalence, Knowledge, Practices, Long lasting Insecticide Treated Nets