Knowledge and attitudes to malaria control and acceptability of permethrin impregnated sisal curtains
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OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to conduct a survey on the knowledge and practices relating to malaria prevention and treatment in two rural communities in Western Kenya, and to determine the acceptability of specially designed permethrin impregnated sisal strands curtains previously introduced into one of the study communities as barriers to mosquito biting. DESIGN: A knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) survey was conducted by pre-trained interviewers using a pre-tested questionnaire. SETTING: The study was conducted in two communities located 15 km northwest of Kisumu town, and next to the swamps bordering Lake Victoria in Kisumu District, Western Kenya. PARTICIPANTS: Adult individuals from 50 houses selected from the intervention, and 50 houses from the control sites were included in the study. RESULTS: Both communities had a clear conception of malaria and its symptoms, and of the mosquito as its vector. Malaria was recognised as a potential cause of death by 44% and 72% of the participants in the intervention and control sites respectively. Sixty two per cent to 74% of the people interviewed in both sites named mosquitoes as the causative agents of malaria. Chloroquine was still the drug of choice for malaria treatment, with over 70% usage among the study population. Mention of pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine/sulfalene as alternative therapy was below five per cent. Despite a high level (86%) of awareness of bednets as effective barriers to mosquito biting, they were reported in use by less than 35% in both communities. Sisal strand curtains were considered effective and acceptable to more than 80% of the community. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study underscore the existing need for affordable means of mosquito control, such as sisal strand curtains, for such rural communities which may be acutely aware of the problems associated with malaria, but are constrained from taking any action by lack of resources.