Antimalarial drug utilization by women in Ethiopia: A knowledge-attitudes-practice study

  • Yeneneh H
  • Gyorkos T
  • Joseph L
 et al. 
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Abstract

A survey was undertaken between December 1991 and February 1992 to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices with respect to malaria of 300 women from six randomly selected rural communities in central Ethiopia. A total of 85% were able to recognize one or more of the common symptoms of the disease; however, the modes of transmission were generally misunderstood and only 23% believed that transmission could be prevented. More women preferred to obtain antimalarials from government clinics rather than from private drug shops, mission clinics, unofficial suppliers of injections, open markets, or from leftover sources. Under-5-year-olds were identified as the most malaria-vulnerable group and given priority for treatment; severity of illness was the principal determinant in seeking treatment. Decisions about treatment were generally made jointly by both parents. Knowledge about the transmissibility of malaria decreased with increasing distance from a health unit (odds ratio: 0.48; 95% confidence interval: 0.27, 0.86). A logistic regression analysis indicated that literacy and village were the most important variables associated with knowledge about preventing malaria.

Malaria is the most important cause of fever and morbidity in the tropics and is a significant source of mortality, especially among infants and young children. It remains one of the top ten leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Ethiopia. The resistance of the anopheline mosquito vectors and of the Plasmodium falciparum parasites is the major obstacle to the control of malaria. Preventing the foci of resistant falciparum malaria from widening requires the rational use of antimalarials and the intensification of vector control. The use and misuse of antimalarial drugs has, however, been largely neglected. The authors conducted a survey between December 1991 and February 1992 to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices with respect to malaria of 300 women from six randomly selected rural communities in central Ethiopia. Most participants were aged 30-44 years in the range of 17-60, and 90.3% were married. 98% of the spouses were farmers and only 16.7% of the women could read or write. 85% were able to recognize one or more of the common symptoms of malaria, but the modes of transmission were generally misunderstood and only 23% believed that transmission could be prevented. More women preferred to obtain antimalarials from government clinics instead of from private drug shops, mission clinics, unofficial suppliers of injections, open markets, or from leftover sources. The women identified under-five year olds as the group most vulnerable to malaria and gave them priority treatment. Severity of illness was the principal determinant in seeking treatment, with decisions about treatment generally made jointly by both parents. Knowledge about the transmissibility of malaria decreased with increasing distance from a health unit, while literacy and village were the most important variables associated with knowledge about preventing malaria.

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  • ISSN: 00429686
  • ISBN: 0042-9686
  • SGR: 0027759480
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-0027759480
  • PUI: 24041679
  • PMID: 8313494

Authors

  • H. Yeneneh

  • T. W. Gyorkos

  • L. Joseph

  • J. Pickering

  • S. Tedla

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