Health-seeking behaviour for febrile illness in #malaria-endemic Kolasib district, Mizoram, India
Early diagnosis and complete treatment (EDCT) is an important strategy for malaria control in India's National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. The success of this strategy is closely linked to people's health-seeking behaviour. A study was conducted to determine the treatment-seeking behaviour of suspected malaria patients in Kolasib, a highly malaria-endemic district in Mizoram, India. Approximately one-third of the 540 fever patients interviewed sought initial treatment from public health facilities, whilst the majority either took self-treatment or purchased medicines from private pharmacies. Approximately 20% of patients sought treatment after 48h of fever onset. Patients aged >14 years and those who had an income ≥Rs 5000 (US$104) were more likely to receive treatment from non-governmental health facilities. Patients aged >14 years and those residing in difficult locations were more likely to take treatment after 48h of fever. To improve implementation of the EDCT strategy, it is necessary to conduct health education campaigns in the district (i) about seeking early treatment from public health facilities, including the fever treatment depots established in all villages, and (ii) discouraging the practice of self-treatment.