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Open Access Research article

Spatial distribution, work patterns, and perception towards malaria interventions among temporary mobile/migrant workers in artemisinin resistance containment zone

Khin Thet Wai1*, Myat Phone Kyaw1, Tin Oo1, PeThet Zaw1, Myat Htut Nyunt1, Moe Thida1 and Thar Tun Kyaw2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar), No. 5 Ziwaka Road, 11191 Yangon, Myanmar

2 Department of Health, National Malaria Control Programme, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:463  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-463

Published: 17 May 2014

Abstract

Background

Mobile populations are at a high risk of malaria infection and suspected to carry and spread resistant parasites. The Myanmar National Malaria Control Programme focuses on preventive interventions and vector control measures for the temporary mobile/migrant workers in Myanmar Artemisinin Resistance Containment Zones.

Methods

A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in 2012 in Kawthaung and Bokepyin townships of Tanintharyi Region, Myanmar, covering 192 mobile/migrant aggregates. The objectives were to identify the spatial distribution of the mobile/migrant populations, and to assess knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and practices concerning malaria prevention and control, and their preferred methods of interventions. The structure of the192 migrant aggregates was investigated using a migrant mapping tool. Individual and household information was collected by structured interviews of 408 respondents from 39 aggregates, supplemented by 12 in-depth interviews of health care providers, authorities, volunteers, and employers. Data were analyzed by triangulating quantitative and qualitative data.

Results

The primary reasons for the limitation in access to formal health services for suspected malaria within 24 hours were identified to be scattered distribution of migrant aggregates, variable working hours and the lack of transportation. Only 19.6% of respondents reported working at night from dusk to dawn. Among study populations, 73% reported a perceived risk of contracting malaria and 60% reported to know how to confirm a suspected case of malaria. Moreover, only 15% was able to cite correct antimalarial drugs, and less than 10% believed that non-compliance with antimalarial treatment may be related to the risk of drug resistance. About 50% of study population reported to seeking health care from the public sector, and to sleep under ITNs/LLINs the night before the survey. There was a gap in willingness to buy ITNs/LLINs and affordability (88.5% vs. 60.2%) which may affect their sustained and consistent use. Only 32.4% across all aggregates realized the importance of community participation in effective malaria prevention and control.

Conclusions

Community-based innovative approaches through strong collaboration and coordination of multi-stakeholders are desirable for relaying information on ITNs/LLINs, rapid diagnostic test, and artemisinin combination therapy and drug resistance successfully across the social and economic diversity of mobile/migrant aggregates in Myanmar.

Keywords:
Malaria; Temporary mobile/migrant workers; Spatial distribution; Perceptions; EDPT; Bed net use; Epidemiological surveillance