Malaria Prevalence and Knowledge, Attitude and Practice about Malaria among Febrile Patients Attending Chagni Health Center, Northwest Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study
Background: Ethiopia has achieved remarkable progresses in the prevention and control of malaria in the past decades, yet it is a formidable health concern and socio-economic impediment. This study aimed at assessing the magnitude and knowledge, attitudes and practices towards malaria among febrile patients attending Chagni health center, northwest Ethiopia. Methods: In the health facility based cross-sectional study, patients attending health center with suspicion of malaria symptoms and
... symptoms and signs, were enlisted. To determine the magnitude of malaria, finger prick blood samples were collected from malaria suspected patients visiting health center between September 2017 and February 2018. A pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire was also applied to assess KAP of suspected malaria patients attending the health center. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Results: Prevalence of malaria among febrile patients attending at the sampled health facility was 7.3%. Of these, Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, and mixed infection accounted for 55, 44.3 and 0.7% of the cases, respectively. This study also revealed that 97% of the respondents had ever heard about malaria and recognized it as a serious health problem. Mosquito bite was identified as the main malaria transmission. Taking drug (86.3%), use of mosquito nets (73.3%), drain stagnated water (68%), and house spay with insecticides (66%) were mentioned as the main malaria prevention methods. Mosquito net coverage and its utilization in the previous night were 98% and 75%, respectively. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) coverage was 99%, of which 77.5% of houses of participants were get sprayed in the last six months. Conclusions: The current study revealed that prevalence of malaria among febrile illnesses in the study area was relatively low (7.3%) with a high proportion of P. falciparum. Besides, participants had adequate knowledge, encouraging attitudes, and good practices about prevention and control of malaria. However, some misconceptions on malaria disease, its transmission, and prevention have been noted that actually require due attention by the concerned stakeholders. We believe that findings of this study would make inroads into the implementation effective malaria interventions in the area and beyond focusing on enhancing community awareness and scaling up coverage of evidence-based interventions.