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Ethiop Med J. 2007 Oct;45(4):343-51.

Community perceptions and practices about urban malaria prevention and control in Gondar Town, northwest Ethiopia.

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Department of Environmental Health, Gondar College of Health Sciences, Gondar University.



Malaria is becoming a major health problem in urban areas. Community perceptions, knowledge and practices have a major role in the implementation of effective malaria control interventions. Yet little is known about the perceptions and practices of urban community about urban malaria prevention and control.


The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of an urban community about malaria prevention and control.


A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out in three randomly selected malarious Kebeles of Gondar Town during November-December 2004. Knowledge, attitudes and practices were assessed for 489 household members > or =18 years old.


Almost all respondents knew about malaria and recognized it as one of the major health problems of the community. About 58% knew that malaria could be transmitted from one person to another, and most (97.2%) associated malaria with the bite of mosquito. The most frequently reported symptoms of malaria included fever (96.3%), chills and shivering (96.3%), headache (96.1%), loss of appetite (92.2%) and joini pain (90.2%). Knowledge about the names of the currently used antimalarials, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (90.4%) and chloroquine (81.6%), was high. About 39% of the total 163 surveyed households possessed at least one mosquito net; of these, 55 (83.7%) possessed one, 7 (11%) had two and 2 (2.3%) possessed three. Most respondents practiced draining stagnant water (46.3%) and clearing vegetation (43.3%) for malaria prevention.


Although considerable gaps were observed between knowledge and practices of malaria prevention and control methods, community knowledge, attitudes and practices on the cause, treatment and prevention of the disease were encouraging. Since malaria is identified as a major health problem, the use of personal protection methods such as insecticide treated mosquito nets should be encouraged through increasing access to it.

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