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School Of Medicine School Of Medicine

School Of Medicine School Of Medicine

School Of Medicine School Of Medicine

School Of Medicine School Of Medicine

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Socio-economic and Socio-cultural factors affecting malaria control interventions in Zambia: A Survey of Milenge District, Luapula Province

ABSTRACT

Background: Malaria remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Zambia. Despite Zambia implementing a number of interventions aimed at controlling malaria, the disease prevalence remains high (above 50%) in Milenge district, Luapula province. This is a cause of great concern. The aim of this study was to determine key socio-economic and socio-cultural practices affecting malaria control interventions among communities in Milenge district.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted at four rural Health Centres in Milenge district in 2015. A total of 192 randomly selected adult patients and/or their caregivers were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse data using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 software.

Results: Farming and fishing was the most common occupation among respondents (91.15%, n=175) indicating a low socio-economic status. Educational level (p<0.001; χ2=29.52), occupation (p<0.003; χ2=16.07) and monthly income (p<0.001; χ2=23.80) significantly associated with knowledge of malaria transmission and prevention interventions. Although there was a strong association between knowledge of malaria transmission and use of ITN for malaria (p<0.001; χ2= 31), about 20% indicated using unconventional methods such as indigenous local herbs to treat or prevent malaria and 3% reported consulting traditional healers.

Conclusion: Low socio-economic status was the main key factor affecting malaria control interventions in Milenge district. Socio-cultural practices such as traditional belief systems and use of unconventional herbal medicines were still practiced in spite of sufficient knowledge of malaria transmission and the use of ITN for malaria. The socio cultural factors that came up as affecting malaria control are the migration practices of the fishermen.

Key words: Malaria, social-economic, socio-cultural factors, preventive measures, malaria control interventions, Zambia

Ellah Zingani, Given Mtonga, Aubrey Chichonyi Kalungia, Moses Mukosha, Alefa Banda. Socio-economic and Socio-cultural factors affecting malaria control interventions in Zambia: A survey of Milenge district, Luapula Province, Zambia. Journal of Preventive and Rehabilitative Medicine, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017, pp. 25-33. doi: 10.21617/jprm.2017.0102.4

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