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An exploratory study of community factors relevant for participatory malaria control on Rusinga Island, western Kenya

Citation: 
Pamela Opiyo, W Richard Mukabana, Ibrahim Kiche, Evan Mathenge, Gerry F Killeen and Ulrike Fillinger. An exploratory study of community factors relevant for participatory malaria control on Rusinga Island, western Kenya. Malaria Journal 2007, 6:48 doi:10.1186/1475-2875-6-48
Abstract / Summary: 
Malaria imposes a huge burden upon the health and economic development of tropical nations and has been identified as a major obstacle towards achieving several of the health-related Millennium Development Goals. This document outlines a study in western Kenya which examined knowledge and belief about Malaria, socioeconomic status and treatment and practices for Malaria prevention. The study also measured the community willingness to implement and prepare vector based control.   The study found that Malaria was considered a major threat to life but relevant knowledge was a chimera of scientific knowledge and traditional beliefs, which combined with socio-economic circumstances, leads to ineffective malaria prevention. The actual malaria prevention behaviour practiced by community members differed significantly from methods known to the respondents. Beside bednet use, the major interventions implemented were bush clearing and various hygienic measures, even though these are ineffective for malaria prevention. Most respondents believed malaria could be controlled and were willing to contribute to a community-based malaria control program but felt they needed outside assistance. The following two main conclusions are provided: - culturally sensitive but evidence-based education interventions, utilizing participatory tools, are urgently required which consider traditional beliefs and enable understanding of causal connections between mosquito ecology, parasite transmission and the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease - community-based organizations and schools need to be equipped with knowledge through partnerships with national and international research and tertiary education institutions so that evidence-based research can be applied at the grassroots level    
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Author(s): 
Pamela Opiyo, W Richard Mukabana, Ibrahim Kiche, Evan Mathenge, Gerry F Killeen and Ulrike Fillinger
 
Year published: 
2007
Month published: 
April