Assessment of knowledge attitude and use of malaria control methods among pregnant women and mothers in children below five yearsof age in mwea division,waguru district (formerly kirinyagha district)
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Introduction: Despite availability of effective malaria control methods, malaria still affects millions of people each year worldwide. An estimated 8.2 million cases of malaria are reported in Kenya every year, and on average, 72 children less than five years old die each day from the disease across the country. In order to develop strategies to promote/improve use of the various malaria control methods, it is necessary to determine factors that currently limit their use. Objective: The overall objective of this study was to determine awareness, attitudes and use of various malaria control methods among pregnant women and mothers of children aged below five years old of Mwea division, Wang’uru district. Methods: The study was a cross-sectional study involving pregnant women and mothers who have children who are less than 5 years old receiving antenatal or postnatal care at Kimbimbi sub-district hospital. 384 participants were enrolled in the study. A questionnaire was administered to consenting women to determine social demographic characteristics, knowledge, attitude and utilization of malaria control methods. Results: All the respondents were aware of ITNs, 28.6% were aware of larviciding, 39.8% window and door screens, 52.6% mosquito repellants and 95.6% Environmental Methods. On the perceived effectiveness of the malaria control methods, 51% of the respondents said ITNs were very good, 64.8% said that larviciding was average, 56.5% of the respondents said that window and door screens were average, 44.0% of the respondents said that mosquito repellants were good and 68% of the respondents said that EM was good. Three hundred and sixty nine (96.1%) respondents said they used ITNs, but only 3.9% used larviciding, 11.7% window and door screens, 12.8% of the respondents used mosquito repellants and 94.5% of the respondents practiced EM. All the malaria control methods were more likely to be used by Married Christians who had gone to school up to or beyond secondary school. Conclusion: The good knowledge and use of ITNs could have been due to the free distribution of ITNs at Kimbimbi hospital. EM awareness and use was also very good. The good level of knowledge and use of ITNs and EM could have led to the decrease in malaria morbidity. The low level of knowledge and use of the other malaria control methods could have had a negative impact on the control of malaria making it still the disease with the second highest level of morbidity in Mwea. Interventions that are sustainable, culturally appropriate and economically feasible both at individual and community level should be put in place.