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Research Journal of Parasitology
  Year: 2007 | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 13-22
DOI: 10.3923/jp.2007.13.22
 
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Community Perceptions about Malaria, Mosquito and Insecticide Treated Nets in a Rural Community of the Niger Delta Nigeria: Implications for Control

I.G. Ukpong , K.N. Opara , L.P.E. Usip and F.S. Ekpu

Abstract:
Prior to an exploratory study on the acceptance and use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs), in a rural community of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, the people’s knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about malaria, the vector (mosquito) and bednets were assessed. A total of 359 randomly selected individuals were interviewed between January and August, 2001 using qualitative and quantitative methods. People’s knowledge about signs and symptoms was found to be very poor. The most frequently mentioned symptoms of malaria, reported by 40 and 31% of the study population are fever and body pains respectively. About 70% of the respondents knew that malaria is caused through mosquito bites, the rest attributed it to many other causes. Knowledge about causes and transmission of malaria is still shrouded in a lot of misconceptions. Mosquitoes are thought to bite persons at night (75.2%), breed in stagnant water (47.6%) and rest in dark places inside houses during the daytime (51.5%). Malaria was believed to be preventable by 96.4% of the respondents. Of those number that believed it could be prevented, 35.8% mentioned use of drugs, 30.5% reported netting of windows and doors with mosquito nets, 16.8% indicated elimination of breeding sites, while 3.2% mentioned burning of herbs and mosquito coils as preventive measures. The use of bednets was uncommon in the study community, although 37.3% of the study group claimed they have seen a bednet before, however none of them have owned one or slept under it. Remarkably, none of the study population has ever heard or seen an insecticide treated bednet. However, 78.8% of the respondents are willing to sleep under it if provided for. The study emphasizes the importance of the promotion of ITN acquisition, effective ulitisation and sustenance as a barrier to the nuisance caused by mosquito and other insects of public health importance. Health education, advocacy, awareness creation, motivation and mobilization of the endemic communities to be involved in the Roll back malaria programme is highly recommended.
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How to cite this article:

I.G. Ukpong , K.N. Opara , L.P.E. Usip and F.S. Ekpu , 2007. Community Perceptions about Malaria, Mosquito and Insecticide Treated Nets in a Rural Community of the Niger Delta Nigeria: Implications for Control . Research Journal of Parasitology, 2: 13-22.

DOI: 10.3923/jp.2007.13.22

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=jp.2007.13.22

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