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Knowledge of Malaria and Implications for Control in an Endemic Urban Area of North Central Nigeria

Author(s): I.K. Olayemi | I.C.J. Omalu | S.O. Abolarinwa | O.M. Mustapha | V.A. Ayanwale | A.Z. Mohammed | I.M. Bello | V.I. Chukwuemeka

Journal: Asian Journal of Epidemiology
ISSN 1992-1462

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 42;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Malaria | mode of transmission | Minna | preventive measures | symptoms

In order to generate baseline information for developing content and context-sensitive anti- malaria behavioral change communication messages, this study was carried out to assess the peoples knowledge about malaria in an urban area of north central Nigeria, between May and October 2010. Data were collected from about 1,500 respondents, using a pre-tested structured questionnaire, that assessed the peoples knowledge of the symptoms, mode of transmission and prevention of malaria, as well as, the frequency at which they experience episodes of the disease. The results revealed that 80.95% of the respondents correctly associated malaria with clinical symptoms of the disease, while the remaining 19.05% attributed non-malaria conditions, especially, stomach pain (4.50%), influenza (2.74%), diarrhea (2.36%), etc., to the disease. About 97% of the respondents had experienced malaria, with 49.16% of them having an episode in the three months preceding this survey. Though, all the respondents claimed to know the cause of malaria, only 89.47% correctly mentioned mosquito bites while, the remaining 10.53% gave spurious answers including, changes in weather conditions (3.09%), onset of teething in infants (2.75%), dirty environment (1.66%), etc. Almost all the respondents (96.53%) knew an appropriate method of preventing malaria, with the use of mosquito coils/aerosols (33.69%) and bed nets (27.30%) been the most preferred options. The epidemiological implications of these results were highlighted and discussed and it was concluded that the findings will serve as an impetus for re-designing anti-malaria behavioural change communication messages.
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