Manenji Mangundu, Elizabeth Chadambuka, James January, Roy Tapera, Agnes Mangundu & Sammy Mbogoh
Malaria is one of the principal causes of morbidity and mortality in Kerfi and is responsible for over 22% of all outpatient visits. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted in which information was gathered from Kerfi clinic consultation registers through face to face interview with 170 heads of households. Knowledge of malaria was significantly related to seeking and complying with treatment, taking preventive measures and advising other community members to seek treatment. Use of insecticide treated mosquito nets was affected by factors such as sleeping outside houses and hot climatic conditions (P = 0.039). The effectiveness of the spraying program was affected by type of housing (90.5% poles and grass). There was no significant association between malaria infection and status of population (internally displaced people (IDPs) or host community (HC), prevalence odds ratio (POR 1.0811, 95% CI 0.494-2.3659). There was no significant difference in malaria infection by gender or age group. There was an improvement in clinical malaria diagnosis in 2008, as 2628 parachecks-F tests were done and 1847 (70%) of the tests were positive compared to 2007 where 2344 parachecks-F tests were done but only 608 (25.9%) were positive. The increase observed was not necessarily an epidemiological increase, but an indication of increased awareness, resulting from patients’ positive health seeking behaviour and improved diagnosis and reporting. Stakeholders in malaria prevention and control programs should understand traditional and cultural factors that hinder use of insecticide treated nets.