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The Social Epidemiology and Burden of Malaria in Bali Nyonga, Northwest Cameroon

Author(s): N. V. Pemunta

Journal: Health, Culture and Society
ISSN 2161-6590

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 20;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: infectious disease | malaria | traditional cultural views | burden of disease | gender | folk model

Malaria is an infectious disease caused by the anopheles mosquito that kills at least one million people in Sub-Saharan Africa every year, leading to human suffering and enormous economic loses. This paper examines the complex web of cultural, poor socio-economic conditions and environmental factors for the prevalence of malaria in Bali Nyonga. The study outlines and assesses the multiple notions of malaria causation with dirty environment (80.76%) and the mosquito (76.92%) as the leading causes. Other causes are poor hygiene (46.15%), impure sources of portable water (23.08%), malnutrition (15.38%), witchcraft (11.54%), human-vector contact (34.61%),and palm wine drinking (32.69%).It revealsĀ  that any effective management of malaria must be based on an understanding of traditional cultural views and insights concerning the cause, spread and treatment of the disease, as well as gender roles within a given community since women bear a greaterĀ  burden of the disease than men. This study furtherĀ  underscores the need to incorporate folk theories of disease causation, gender and malaria issues into malaria control strategies in order to improve their coverage and effectiveness in different contexts.
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