Factors influencing levels of knowledge on Malaria among mothers with children below five years in Coast province, a case of Coast Provincial General Hospital, Kenya
Hakim, Baishe A
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This study project has been conducted to investigate factors influencing levels of knowledge on malaria among mothers with children under five years of age in Coast province, a case of Coast provincial general hospital, Kenya. Malaria is an acute infective disease caused by a protozoan infection of the genus, protozoa. Malaria is one of the top ten killer diseases in developing countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa with high mortality and morbidity in children below five years and pregnant mothers. This research is of descriptive survey cross- sectional design. targeting a population of one thousand (1000) mothers with children below five years of age diagnosed with malaria. The study area is Coast provincial general hospital and the sample size estimated to be one hundred and twenty (120) respondents by sampling procedure of simple random non-stratified. Method of data collection used is questionnaire and data analyzed by use of mean, standard deviations and presented in form of tables. Majority of the respondents mentioned mosquitoes as the main causative agent of malaria, mosquito bites as the commonest mode of its transmission, fever, vomiting and refusal to feed! breastfeed as its common clinical presentations, tablets fansidar and coartem as the preferred medications in treatment of malaria and mosquito treated bed nets with clearing of bushes and drainage of stagnant water as the most widely used preventive methods of malaria. Majority of respondents mentioned that ignorance, illiteracy and poverty affects levels of knowledge on malaria negatively, hence increases its morbidity and mortality. In contrast, sensitization was found by the majority of respondents to markedly raise levels of knowledge on malaria, hence decrease in its mortality and morbidity. Based on the study findings, it recommends public awareness and education of the mothers on general knowledge of malaria. It also recommends public health education of the community through public 'barazas' and massive sensitization by health workers and local administration on the importance of children under five years being treated at a health facility by qualified medical personnel. As a long term measure, policies on antimalarial drugs for home management of malaria need to be reviewed, as rapid development of resistance in the available drugs have been reported. Moreover, it promotes involvement of District Health Management Teams other partners dealing with malaria in strengthening community level malaria interventions and training of community health workers as part of efforts to improve access to prompt treatment and support supervision of the utilization of nets. This study suggests further studies to be done on socio- cultural factors and their effects on usage of insecticide treated mosquito bed nets, research on the quality and effectiveness of various types of mosquito bed nets currently in the market, research on the relevancy of information, education and communication materials in determining the burden of malaria in the community and lastly, research to be done on the attitude and practices of male caretakers towards malaria in the community. These further researches will help to fill the knowledge and practical gap in dealing with malaria and attaining a holistic and comprehensive method of malaria intervention.