Aklilu Abrham R
Background: Malaria is the leading public health problem in Ethiopia. Lack of malaria-specific knowledge has been commonly assumed to be an important barrier to engagement in behaviors that prevent malaria and prompt health seeking behavior.
Objective: To assess parents’ knowledge, practice of prevention, treatment seeking and factors associated with malaria prevention among under-five children in Damot Gale Woreda.
Methodology: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted among 419 households who had under five children. Data was collected from 4 rural kebeles (Smallest administrative villages). It was analyzed by using SPSS version 16.0. Logistic regression was used to identify the factors influencing the outcome. Odds ratios and the corresponding confidence intervals were used to identify potential predictors in logistic regression model.
Results: Around 85% of parents correctly associated malaria transmission with the bite of infective mosquito. Regarding practice of prevention, 83.7% mentioned source reduction and 63.1% used bed nets. The prevalence of malaria was 38/419 (9.1%). Health care facilities were accessible for more than 90% of study population with a walking distance of less than 30 min but only 15% of sick children started anti-malarial treatment within 24 h. Being biological mother (AOR 2.42, 95% CI 1.42-4.12, P=0.03), knowledge of method of malaria prevention (AOR 1.59, 95% CI 1.126-2.242, P=0.002) and treatment seeking within 24 h for malaria (AOR 2.69, 95% CI 1.56-4.62, P=0.000) were significantly associated with practice of malaria prevention.
Conclusion: Prevalence of malaria in children was 9.1%. Delay in treatment seeking within 24 h was high. So, health education on prevention methods and treatment seeking is required.