ASSESSMENT OF AWARENESS OF MALARIA PREVENTION, TRANSMISSION AND TREATMENT AMONG AKHUAKHUARI RURAL COMMUNITY DWELLERS IN EDO STATE, NIGERIA
Ogochukwu N Anaka1, Valentine U Odili2 and Stella F Usifoh2

1Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Igbinedion University Okada. 2Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, University of Benin, Benin City.
*Corresponding Author: Valentine U Odili, vuodili@yahoo.com, +2348023432237.

ABSTRACT

Background: Malaria is more common in rural areas than in cities. Akhuakhuari is a very remote community with their dwelling camps sandwiched between bushes, which encourage malaria transmission. There is no known health or government educational facility in this community.

The objective of the study was to assess the level of awareness of malaria; its transmission, preventive strategies and treatment by rural community dwellers in Edo State, Nigeria.

Methods: A community-based cross–sectional questionnaire survey involving 102 study participants who gave informed consent was conducted during February and October 2013 in Akhuakhuari, village in Iyekogba, Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. The questionnaire comprised 2 parts which covered the respondents’ demographics and the objectives of the study.

Results:  Most of the respondents 50 (49.0%) were secondary school certificate holders while 24 (23.5%) were illiterate. The majority of the study participants 32 (31.4%) knew that malaria is a serious disease that can attack all age groups of a population. However, only 24 (23.5%) of the study participants mentioned that mosquito bites could cause malaria. Many of the respondents (80; 78.4%) said they have insecticide-treated net (ITN). Of these, only 69 (86.3%) made use of the ITN. Eight of the 16 respondents that do not use their ITN said it is because it makes them uncomfortable.  More than half 57 (55.9%) of the participants reported that the effective treatment for malaria is the use of modern orthodox medicines. However, of the modern drugs reported, chloroquine was most frequently mentioned 18 (17.6%).

Conclusion: The incidence of malaria in the community is quite high, despite this, majority of the respondents had wrong or no knowledge about the cause, mode of transmission, prevention and treatment of malaria. The relatively high incidence of malaria in the area could be attributable to their low level of education, poverty and the unhygienic state of the environment.

Keywords: Awareness, Malaria, Rural dwellers

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