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Parents’ perception on cause of malaria and their malaria prevention experience among school-aged children in Kutcha district, Southern Ethiopia

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Ondertitel:qualitative study
Introduction School-aged children become a highly vulnerable group for malaria, yet they are less likely to use malaria prevention interventions. Previous studies exploring perception on cause of malaria mainly focused on pregnant mothers or parents of children under age five years. Exploring parent’s perception on cause of malaria and their experiences on the prevention of malaria and associated challenges among school-aged children is important to develop a malaria prevention education package for school-aged children to reduce malaria and malaria related morbidities among school-aged children. Methods A descriptive qualitative study is conducted in Kutcha district by recruiting 19 parents of school-aged children for semi-structured interviews, 6 key informants and 6 focus group discussion which consists of parents, health development army and health extension workers. A semi-structured interview guide is used to guide the interview process. The collected data is analyzed thematically with a focus on the three major areas of concern: perceived cause of malaria, experience of malaria prevention and challenges of bed net use for prevention of malaria. Results Five causes of malaria were identified, namely hunger, mosquito bite, exposure to hot sunshine, poor sanitation and hygiene and eating some sweet foods and unripe maize. Participants perceived that eating sweet foods and unripe maize lead to enlargement of the spleen that ends in malaria while poor hygiene and sanitation leads to either development of the ova of mosquito and the landing of the housefly to contaminate food for consumption. The experiences of malaria prevention were largely influenced by their perceived cause of malaria. The malaria prevention measures undertaken by parents were vectors control measures, homemade herbal remedies and restricting children from eating sweet foods. The challenges of malaria prevention by using bed nets were related to a negative attitude, sleeping behaviors of children; use of bed nets for unintended purposes, shortage of bed nets and delays in the distribution of bed nets. Conclusion There were misconceptions about the cause of malaria and associated experiences of malaria prevention. Control of malaria among school-aged children need health education targeting the challenges and correcting identified misconceptions by parents in Kutcha district and in other similar settings.
Tijdschrift: PLoS ONE
Volume: 15
Aantal pagina's: 15
Jaar van publicatie:2020