Issues in Malaria Communication in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria
AbstractCommunication plays an important part in health promotion. Malaria affects millions of people worldwide, and is a major health challenge in Africa. This study seeks to determine the health communication interventions so far used on malaria, find out what has been achieved and suggest the way forward. The study adopted a descriptive survey design, along with documents to address the subject matter. The target population consists of all the people in Enugu metropolis with study population comprising healthcare providers, patients and the general public drawn from Enugu metropolis. Purposive sampling technique was employed in the selection of 130 respondents that were studied. Questionnaire was used for data collection. Descriptive statistics and chi-square test of independence were used to analyze the data. About 93.8% of the respondents were aware of the interventions on malaria. They have a good knowledge of available interventions on malaria: ITNs (86.2%), IRS (51%), and IPT (20%). The distribution of media friendly intervention was highest for ITN, (47.6%) followed by IRS (26.7%). Also IPT are not only rarely (29.6%) aired and /or received, but also never (30.3%) publicized or received. Interventions on malaria were not independent of mass media interventions (p= 0.007) while the degree of awareness of malaria is independent on the communication avenues (p= 0.378). Health interventions and policy framework to address malaria in Nigeria are available. However, there is need for audience-specific communication and attitudinal change to ensure improved uptake.
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