Socio-demographic factors influencing knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) regarding malaria in Bangladesh
BMC Public Health 2012, 12:1084 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1084Published: 18 December 2012
A clear understanding of the social and behavioral risk factors, and knowledge gaps, related to exposure to malaria are essential when developing guidelines and recommendations for more effective disease prevention in many malaria endemic areas of the world including Bangladesh and elsewhere in the South East Asia. To-date, the level of knowledge that human populations, residing in moderate to high malaria risk zones, have with respect to the basic pathogen transmission dynamics, risk factors for malaria or disease preventative strategies, has not been assessed in Bangladesh. The purpose of this study was to address this gap by conducting surveys of the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of people, from variable socio-demographic backgrounds, residing in selected rural malaria endemic areas in Bangladesh.
The KAP survey was conducted in portions of six different malaria endemic districts in Bangladesh from July to October 2011. The survey consisted of interviewing residence of these malaria endemic districts using a structured questionnaire and interviewers also completed observational checklists at each household where people were interviewed. The study area was further divided into two zones (1 and 2) based on differences in the physical geography and level of malaria endemicity in the two zones. Data from the questionnaires and observational checklists were analysised using Statistical Package for Social Sciences 16.0 (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).
A total of 468 individuals from individual households were interviewed, and most respondents were female. Monthly incomes varied within and among the zones. It was found that 46.4 % and 41% of respondents' family had malaria within the past one year in zones 1 and 2, respectively. Nearly 86% of the respondents did not know the exact cause of malaria or the role of Anopheles mosquitoes in the pathogen's transmission. Knowledge on malaria transmission and symptoms of the respondents of zones 1 and 2 were significantly (p<0.01) different. The majority of respondents from both zones believed that bed nets were the main protective measure against malaria, but a significant relationship was not found between the use of bed net and prevalence of malaria. A significant relationship (p<0.05) between level of education with malaria prevalence was found in zone 1. There was a positive correlation between the number of family members and the prevalence of malaria. Houses with walls had a strong positive association with malaria. Approximately 50% of the households of zones 1 and 2 maintained that they suffered from malaria within the last year. A significant association (p<0.01) between malaria and the possession of domestic animals in their houses was found in both zones. People who spent time outside in the evening were more likely to contract malaria than those who did not.
To address the shortcomings in local knowledge about malaria, health personnel working in malaria endemic areas should be trained to give more appropriate counseling in an effort to change certain deeply entrenched traditional behaviors such as spending time outdoors in the evening, improper use of bed nets and irregular use of insecticides during sleep.