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Management of malaria: Perceptions & practice among non-medical students of higher institutions in Ekiti State Nigeria

Saheed Opeyemi Usman, Ayooluwa Samuel Adu, Tonubari Fadero, Nafisat Oladayo Akintayo-Usman, Titilope E. Ojediran, Oluwadamilola Aminat Oluberu, Temitope Oluwakayode Ipinmoye.

Abstract
Background: Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by eukaryotic protist of genus Plasmodium and transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. Those living mainly in the world’s poorest countries are at risk of malaria as it is more endemic in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. Malaria spread have been linked to environmental changes, malaria vector dynamics, host immune status and individual or community factors such as the socio-economic status, knowledge of malaria and the protective behaviour. Objectives: To assess knowledge, perceptions and practice of malaria management among non-medical students of higher institutions in Ekiti State, Nigeria Methods: An open-ended structured questionnaire was administered consecutively to 1200 consenting non-medical students by interviewer at various higher institutions. The cross-sectional survey questionnaire comprised sections on socio-demographic data, knowledge about causes of malaria and knowledge about malaria management & practice. Results: The mean age (SD) was 21.8 (5.4) years. 475 respondents (40.0%) are male while 725 respondents (60.0%) are female. 1131 students (94.3%) reported that malaria can be cured. 91 students (7.6%) understand malaria prophylaxis to be a preventive treatment of malaria and 190 students (15.8%) said Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) are the most effective among the drugs they have used to treat malaria. Conclusion: Non-medical students have relatively reasonable knowledge about malaria management and practices, although, certain aspects are still not well understood, probably due to the scope of their educational curricula. Hence, there is need to intensify malaria public enlightenment programmes and promote affordable treatment.

Key words: malaria, student, mosquito, management


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