Construction site workers' malaria knowledge and treatment-seeking pattern in a highly endemic urban area of India

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Abstract

Background: Construction sites are potential breeding places for some species of mosquitoes. Construction workers usually stay at the construction sites, thus being extremely susceptible to malaria. For malaria control, a special focus on them is warranted as they often seek treatment from unregulated, private vendors, increasing their risk of exposure to substandard drugs. Objectives: To elicit the socio-demographic factors associated with comprehensive malaria knowledge (symptoms, mode of spread, and preventive measures) and treatment-seeking pattern (preferred source and type of treatment) among the construction workers in Mangaluru, India; and, to study the association among their comprehensive malaria knowledge, past suffering from malaria (within 1 year) and treatment-seeking pattern. Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted in nine randomly selected construction sites of Mangaluru, a high-risk city for malaria with an annual parasite incidence of >2/1000/year, from June-September 2012. A sample size of 132 was estimated assuming at least 30 % of them have satisfactory malaria knowledge, 10 % absolute precision, 95 % confidence level, design effect of 1.5 and 10 % non-responses. A semi-structured interview schedule was used, and knowledge scores were computed. Multivariate linear (for knowledge score) and logistic regressions (for preferred source and type of treatment) were applied. Results: One hundred and nineteen workers participated in the study (total approached-138). 85 % (n = 101) of them were males. Mean knowledge score was 9.95 ± 3.19 (maximum possible score-16). The majority of them were aware of the symptoms and the mode of malaria transmission. However, <12 % could explain the malaria preventive measures. Females workers (β = -0.281, p = 0.001), self stated malaria within 1 year (β = 0.276, p < 0.001) and who preferred allopathic treatment (β = 0.283, P = 0.001) displayed better knowledge scores. Male workers (AdjOR 7.21, 95 % CI 2.3-22.9) and those with self stated malaria within 1 year (AdjOR 11.21, 95 % CI 2.38-52.8) showed favorable treatment-seeking pattern. Conclusions: There is an urgent need of intensifying and streamlining of ongoing malaria prevention activities for construction site workers in Mangaluru, India. Emphasizing the gender equity at every stage of programme implementation and addressing their treatment-seeking pattern is essential. Involvement of labour employers and building contractors in this regard is imperative.

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Shivalli, S., Pai, S., Akshaya, K. M., & D’Souza, N. (2016). Construction site workers’ malaria knowledge and treatment-seeking pattern in a highly endemic urban area of India. Malaria Journal, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-016-1229-2

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