With two years to the MDGs deadline, there is limited evidence of decreases in malaria-related mortality and morbidity in Nigeria. We therefore wanted to evaluate the awareness, accessibility and use of malaria control interventions among at-risk groups in Lagos State, Nigeria.
Lagos State Ministry of Health http://www.lsmoh.com/news/lagos-treats-300-for-malaria#.UmlR9RAQ5aw
In planning for a broader assessment we conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional pilot study of 80 consenting pregnant women and mothers of children below five years of age. It was carried out using a household survey questionnaire and observation in Ikotun and Ketu communities of Lagos State
All respondents identified mosquito as the malaria vector. Respondents’ preferred drugs for malaria treatment were as follows: sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (31.3%); ACTs (20.2%); artemisinin monotherapies (15.0%); chloroquine (13.8); and analgesics (12.5%). Only (30.0%) had used ACTs, and 55.0% of these had practiced self-medication.
Nearly all knew of and had LLINs. From room observation, only 53.8% (31.5% mothers of under-five vs. 11.3% pregnant women) actually hung the LLINs. Reasons for non-use of LLIN included: “prefer house spraying” (28.8%) and “causes heat” (7.5%).
LLIN washing practices showed that 30.5% used toilet soaps compared to detergents and hard soaps (66.7%). Unfortunately, 19.4% sun dried their nets.
While 52.6% of the pregnant women were aware of IPTp, 42.1% actually had received at least one dose.
Results of this pilot showed high awareness but low and poor use of malaria control interventions in populations studied. A wider survey in the near future will inform public health education on the different malaria control interventions that need to be intensified among the women so they can benefit from improved pregnancy and child health outcomes. This is important if the malaria-related MDG targets are to be realized in Lagos and in Nigeria in general.
After service in the British SAS Regiment the author became a physician and then an orthopaedic surgeon.
He has held professorial positions in Canada, Vietnam and the United States, practiced and taught orthopaedic surgery in three continents and in several wars.
He has extensive experience as an expert witness in court. Somewhere along the way, time was found to operate a four hundred acre mixed farm, a one hundred seat restaurant and to obtain a licence as a flying instructor.
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