KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF MALARIA IN AN ISOLATED COMMUNITY ON THE ATLANTIC COAST OF LAGOS, NIGERIA
Surveys of residents of Atlantic coast of Nigeria revealed a lack of knowledge and manymisconceptions about the transmission and treatment of malaria, which could adversely affect malaria control measures and antimalarial therapy. Very few people (25 %) knew that mosquito plays an important role in malaria transmission. The villagers were not aware that mosquitoes become infected by biting individuals with malaria or that mosquitoes can acquire infection at all. Most residents believed that malaria can be acquired in other ways such as by prolonged lingering in the sun, consuming oily food or drinking bad water. Although self-treatment of village health workers (VHW) used chloroquine. However, less than 5 % of mothers and less than 20 % of VHW were aware of the correct curative dosage of chloroquine. There was a reduced frequency of convulsions as maternal education increased (X2 = 4.49; p < 0.05). Injectables in general, were preferred to oral antimalarial medication because people beleived that injections were more potent and that they brought about faster cure rate. Most of the traditional healers interviewed believed that pregnant women should take herbal medicine to strenghten the baby in utero. A health education campaign aimed at rectifying these misconceptions should result in more appropriate self treatment of malaria, wider acceptance of personal protection measures and better support for vector control and drug treatment programmes by residents of Atlantic coast of Nigeria.
KEY-WORDS: Mosquitoes, Atlantic coast, Malaria, Antimalarials
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