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Treatment-seeking behaviour and community perceptions regarding malaria in Surat city

Anjali Modi, Sukesha Gamit, Sankalp Raj Choudhary, Rohit Parmar, Prakash Goghara, Abhay Kavishvar.


Background: Mosquito-borne diseases (MBDs) are a public health challenge in India. Rapid industrialisation and urbanisation leading to rural-urban migration have led to a surge in cases of malaria. Intense surveillance and vector control strategies are also essential for its control. Surat city being inhabited by migrants is endemic for malaria.

Objectives: This study was conducted to find out knowledge about mosquito-borne diseases, treatment seeking behaviour and community perceptions about malaria in Surat city.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in all the seven zones of Surat city namely Central, West, North, West, South East, South West and East zones in the last quarter of the year 2010 with data collection in the month of October 2010. Data was collected in a pre-tested semi-structured open-ended questionnaire, containing questions on socio-demographic profile, knowledge about MBDs, protection from MBDs, public surveillance activities carried out by Government for MBDs and treatment seeking behaviour.

Results: About 38.4 % people utilised public sector services for peripheral blood smear examination. The majority (95.4%) of the fever cases took treatment for malaria. Only 59 cases received radical treatment out of 78 Plasmodium vivax cases. About 70% and 55 % of the respondents had correct knowledge about diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and mosquito breeding habits respectively. Around 81% fever cases reported that health workers come to their area for taking peripheral blood smears.

Conclusions: The MBD control efforts need to be directed more to health education regarding complete treatment of malaria including the radical treatment. More endeavours for information about mosquitoes and their breeding habits are required.

Key words: Malaria, Treatment seeking, Knowledge

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