|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 450-453
Knowledge and practices concerning malaria in rural community of Pune district
Ganesh Madne1, Ashok K Jindal1, Barun B Patel1, Rekha Sharma1, Ravi Kant2
1 Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Web Publication||25-Jun-2014|
Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune - 410 040, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: India is in the malaria pre-elimination stage. It is particularly entrenched in low-income rural areas of eastern and northeastern states, but important foci are also present in the central and more arid western parts of the country. In this situation community-based strategies are important for malaria control. In order to intensify elimination activities we need to have a better awareness of malaria in these rural communities. Objective: To assess Knowledge and Practices (KAP) about malaria in a rural community of Pune District. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted during January 2012 to April 2012 at the field practice area of a Medical College near Pune. All 246 households in the village were visited and the head of the household or other responsible adults were interviewed using a structured and pretested questionnaire. Results: Majority of the participants were aware about malaria symptoms 150 (60.9%) and transmission 206 (83.7%). A total of 202 (82.1%) subjects were aware that mosquitoes bites during dusk and night while only 78 (31.7%) participants had knowledge that malaria can be fatal. A total of 209 (85%) of people had opinion that malaria suspect should visit hospital for confirmation through blood testing while 179 (72.8) participants believed that malaria can be treated by drugs. 93.7% of participants were using one or other anti-adult mosquito measures whereas only 7.3% participants were employing engineering methods to prevent water stagnation. Conclusion: The knowledge, attitudes and practices of respondents in this survey about malaria were fairly good. It might be because of continuous IEC activities as RHTC being in the village. Still, there is scope for public health engineering; therefore further emphasis should be given to environmental modification and manipulation.
Keywords: Kap, malaria, rural
|How to cite this article:|
Madne G, Jindal AK, Patel BB, Sharma R, Kant R. Knowledge and practices concerning malaria in rural community of Pune district. Med J DY Patil Univ 2014;7:450-3
|How to cite this URL:|
Madne G, Jindal AK, Patel BB, Sharma R, Kant R. Knowledge and practices concerning malaria in rural community of Pune district. Med J DY Patil Univ [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Feb 6];7:450-3. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypu.org/text.asp?2014/7/4/450/135261
| Introduction|| |
Since ages malaria is considered as the ''King of Diseases,'' which still continues to haunt mankind. It is one of the most formidable and serious public health problems in India. Today India is in the malaria pre-elimination stage. It is particularly entrenched in low-income rural areas of eastern and northeastern states, but important foci are also present in the central and more arid western parts of the country. 
India recorded 25 million cases of malaria and 30 000 deaths in 2009.  The report of the Indian government's Million Death Study estimates that some 205 000 Indians under age 70 die annually from the malaria. 
Malaria has become a fixture of village life, taking a toll on the health of not only its host population but also generating lethal outbreaks among visitors. It affects mainly poor, underserved and marginalized populations in remote rural areas which are characterized by inadequate control measures and limited access to health care.  Outbreaks in epidemic prone areas place a burden on households, health services and ultimately on the economic growth of communities and nations.
Socioeconomic conditions of the community have direct bearing on the problem of malaria. Ignorance and impoverished condition of people contribute in creating source and spread of malaria. Lack of community involvement is an important hindrance in achieving the malaria control. The problem of mosquitoes as perceived by people remains same even after huge investment.
The National strategy on malaria control has undergone a paradigm shift with the introduction of new interventions for case management (RDTs and ACT) and vector control (LLINs) and Behavior Change Communication (BCC), therefore future looks optimistic for malaria control in India. 
The success in malaria control efforts would stem not only from sound health systems and trained human resources but also from effective ownership of malaria control by people. Although there is evidence that knowledge and awareness of malaria in population, care takers and providers have increased over the years with variation in different regions, but there has not been sufficient internalization of information and resultant behavior change.
The present study was conducted to assess the awareness and practices about malaria amongst households of rural community in Pune District.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted during January 2012 to April 2012 at the Field Practice Area of a Medical College near Pune. The study was initiated after obtaining permission of institutional ethical committee. The resident doctors of Department of Community Medicine were trained for interview and data collection. Informed consent was taken before interview. All 246 households in the village were visited and the head of the household or other responsible adult were interviewed (one person male/female per household).
The pre-designed and pre-tested performa was used to collect the data. The questionnaires were divided into four sections viz. demographics, knowledge, attitudes about the disease, and practices related to prevention against malarial disease.
Questions were asked in local language (Marathi) and collected data were coded in Microsoft excel and analyzed by using SPSS v20.
| Results|| |
A total of 52% of the study respondents were males and 48% females. Mean age among males was 42.96 years and that of females was 34.97years. [Table 1]
[Table 2] shows the education status of study population. [Table 3] shows that majority of the respondents belong to middle class category. The majority of the study participants had ever heard of the malaria 174 (70.7%). A large proportion of participants 206 (83.7%) mentioned that mosquito transmits malaria through biting while 202 (82.1%) individuals were aware that mosquitoes bites during dusk and night. Many respondents were aware about the common symptoms of malaria 150 (60.9%) but only 78 (31.7%) participants had knowledge that malaria can be a deadly disease without proper treatment. Almost all participants 241 (98%) had information about preventive measures of mosquito bites. [Table 4] shows the knowledge of participants about mosquito breeding places.
Majority of the participants imparted knowledge about malaria from the Health Professionals.
The source of knowledge regarding malaria is as shown in [Table 5]. More than 209 (85%) of people in the study area were in the opinion that malaria suspect should visit hospital for medicines and blood testing with 179 (72.8) participants were in belief that malaria can be controlled by the drugs.
A total of 93.7% of participants were using one or other anti-adult mosquito measures whereas only 7.3% participants were employing engineering methods to prevent water stagnation. Out of the 93.7%, 43.5% respondents were using mosquito mats, rackets, coils, liquid vaporizers, mosquito spray, and use of fan. A total of61 (24.8) households were using mosquito nets while 23.2% participants used of smoke (traditional way like burning Neem leaves) to drive away mosquitoes. Only 2% were practicing full covering of body with clothes and nobody was covering the containers and changing water in storage tanks to control mosquito breeding. None of the participant had used insecticide treated bed nets. A total 98 (39.8 %) and 114(46.3%) participants had done indoor and outdoor anti-mosquito spraying of their houses, respectively.[Table 6]
| Discussion|| |
The fairly good knowledge about mosquito breeding places amongst study population reflects the impact of effective IEC by government [Table 4]. Sharma et al.  reported in their study in 1993 that majority of Bastat district of Madhya Pradesh did not know about mosquito breeding places. The present study showed better awareness amongst the population probably due to good IEC activities. However, 18.3% of study population still had myths that garbage was the breeding place for mosquito.
Almost 83.7% of study population had knowledge that mosquito bite is the cause for malaria in this study. Tyagi  reported from New Delhi in 2005 that 100% of study participants knew that mosquito bites transmit malaria.
In this study only 93.7% of participants were using one or other personal protective measures against mosquito bites. But Surendran  from Sri Lanka reported 96% of study participants were using one or other personal protective measures against mosquito bite, and Babu  reported from Orissa that 84% of rural households were using at least one measure against mosquito bites and Snehlatha  from Pondicherry reported that 73% of rural respondents were found to use some personal protection against mosquito bites. But study from Madhya Pradesh, Panda et al.  reported that about 55% of study participants did not take any measures to prevent mosquito bites. Thus, there is evidently varying practices against mosquito bite from place to place.
Most popular method of personal protective measures amongst the study participants was the use of mosquito bed nets (24.8) followed by the use of smoke (23.3%) to drive away mosquitoes. Snehlatha  et al. reported in their study that most popular method was mosquito coil in rural area; Babu  from Orissa reported 58% of rural household were using untreated bed net. A study in Gujratin 2009 by Niraj Pandit reported most popular method was the mosquito coil (57%) followed by using bed net (39%). 
| Conclusion|| |
Based on the findings from this study, it can be concluded that the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of respondents in this survey about malaria were fairly good. It might be because of the local communities are mobilized and empowered with knowledge through continuous IEC activities as RHTC being in the village since last 7 years. Still, there is scope for public health engineering methods; therefore further emphasis should be given to environmental modification and manipulation in collaboration with local Panchayat, Health and Rural Development officials with fully involvement of community and ongoing IEC activities.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]