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BIO00216 - LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES TOWARDS MALARIA AMONGST RESIDENTS OF IREPODUN LGA, KWARA STATE


ABSTRACT

Malaria is still the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in many tropical regions despite global efforts towards its eradication. Assessing and analyzing local malaria problems are a prerequisite for successful control interventions. This study investigates knowledge, attitudes and practices among selected households in Irepodun LGA, Kwara state in relation to malaria prevention and control. Questionnaires were administered to 197 households from the community. Of 197 people enrolled for this study, 99.5% of respondents reported to have heard about malaria of which the chief source of information was from mass media ‘television and radio’ (43.7%), others got informed by health personnel and friends which was 14.7% and 16.2% respectively. Majority of respondents correctly associated mosquitos with malaria transmission (95.4%) and acknowledged that malaria can kill if it went untreated (91.4%). A relatively low number of respondents (34.0%) stated they would seek treatment within 24 hours of onset of malaria symptoms while majority (57.9%) stated they would seek treatment within 2-3days of onset of malaria symptoms. The data in our study revealed that majority of the respondents (87.8%) possess bed nets with large proportion of them believing that sleeping under nets could protect them from mosquito bites. Health-seeking behaviors and possession of insecticidal treated bet net were found to be associated with socioeconomic status of individual. The result elucidates that most respondents had fair knowledge about malaria, its vector, habitat, prevention and control. In spite of the high knowledge about malaria demonstrated in this study, majority had poor practices towards malaria. Therefore, proper education of the populace is advocated to bring about better attitudes.