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BMC Public Health

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BACKGROUND: Since malaria is one of the foremost public health problems in Ethiopia, assessment of situation of the disease, and communities' knowledge and perceptions about malaria is necesary to institute appropriate preventive and control measures. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess malaria prevalence and knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) about the disease among ShewaRobit Town community, northeastern Ethiopia.

METHODS: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Shewa Robit Town from October to November 2011. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select the study participants. A total of 425 individuals were examined for malaria using thin and thick Giemsa stained blood film, and 284 of the participants were interviewed to assess their KAP about malaria. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess predictor factors for malaria prevalence.

RESULTS: All respondents had ever heard of malaria. Most of the respondents (85.2%) attributed the cause of malaria to mosquito bite. However, some of the respondents (>20%) mentioned lack of personal hygiene, exposure to cold weather, hunger, chewing maize stalk, body contact with malaria patient and flies as the causes of malaria. Sleeping under mosquito nets, draining stagnant water and indoor residual spraying were the most frequently mentioned malaria preventive measures perceived and practiced by the respondents. Among 425 individuals examined for malaria, only 2.8% were positive for Plasmodium parasites. Living in houses made of wall without hole, sprayed with insecticide within the last 12 hours and located at a distance of greater than 500 meters from potential mosquito breeding sites as well as knowing and using of mosquito net were significant predictors of low malaria prevalence among the study participants.

CONCLUSIONS: A high level of knowledge about the cause, transmission and preventive methods of malaria was detected among the community in Shewa Robit Town. However, a considerable proportion had misconception about the cause and transmission of malaria suggesting the necessity of health education to raise the community's awareness about the disease.



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