By Robert Ssengonzi, Frederick Makumbi.
Open Access Peer Reviewed
We examine whether a concerted malaria prevention education effort is
associated with reduced malaria disease burden among children under the age of 5 years residing in conflict-affected settings in Northern Uganda. Two camps for internally displaced persons were identified in the Lira District of Northern Uganda. All residents in both camps were given free insecticide treated nets (ITNs), along with basic information on installation and use. In one camp, Ogur, an intense malaria prevention education intervention through community meetings, household visits, and posters was administered to camp residents for a 6-month period by trained community health care workers who were also camp residents. The residents of Ogur camp also received assistance in hanging their ITNs as needed from the resident community health workers. In the other
camp, Abia, no additional health education intervention was provided after the ITN distribution. After 6 months, a survey was conducted among a cross-section of respondents from each camp. The results from this survey show significantly lower rates of reported malaria among children under 5 years in the intervention camp (Ogur) compared with children in the reference camp (adj. RR = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.50, 0.91). This suggests that including enhanced malaria prevention education as an integral component of ITN distribution programs could help promote the use of malaria prevention methods and help stem malaria infections.