Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of the Community towards Malaria Prevention and Control Options: A case study of Meru South District, Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya.
Kiania, Nahashon Mugao
Anjili, O. Christopher
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Abstract: Background: Malaria is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in Kenya. The diseases displays varying degrees of endemicity in different regions in the country, however the knowledge, attitudes and practices of communities about the disease prevention and control measures are in many cases not in tandem. Objective: To assess the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices of the communities towards malaria prevention and control options. Methodology: A cross sectional study design was done in six boarding schools in Meru South District in Tharaka Nithi County in Kenya. A single population proportion sample size formula and design effect of two was used to determine sample size. A total of 347 students were included in the study and proportional allocation was done among schools in the highland and lowland areas. The data was collected by trained data collectors and supervisors using questionnaires and interviewing guidelines. The collected data was cleaned, coded and entered into SPSS version 20.0 for windows software for analysis. Results: This study revealed that 7.8% of the respondents mentioned poverty as a strongly predisposing factor to malaria. Only 8.9% of the respondents reported that children were more vulnerable to malaria as opposed to 6.9% who give the opinion that adults were more vulnerable compared to children. On drainage, only 5.5% of the respondents reported that stagnant water near dwelling places is a strong predisposing factor to malaria. On the type housing, 4.6% of the respondents reported that poor housing exposed people to mosquito bites hence malaria. 18.2% of those interviewed were of the view that seasons with more fruits had more incidences of malaria and that this was more common during the wet and warm weather (23.6%) as compared to the cold and dry season (20.6%). Other predisposing factors that the respondents identified include pregnancy (25.3%), living with malaria infected people (43.8%) and self and presumptive medication (20.5%). Conclusion and recommendation: Knowledge, attitude and practice of the communities living in the area studied towards malaria prevention and control options was low. This calls for continual strengthening and improvement of the community knowledge, attitudes and practices towards malaria prevention and control.