Malaria perception among pregnant women in Chhattisgarh, India
Bondzie, Philip A.
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BACKGROUND: Malaria in pregnant women continues to be a public health problem in India. The prevalence of malaria in pregnancy is particularly high in the tribal conflict areas of India such as Chhattisgarh. Pregnant women have less acquired immunity protecting them against malaria than non-pregnant women of child bearing age. The decreased immunity results in a much more severe presentation of malaria symptoms, and potential death of both mother and fetus during malaria in pregnancy. Recognizing the need for effective malaria interventions in pregnant women, global and national malaria prevention and treatment guidelines have been established. Practice of these guidelines has been found to be inadequate in the Asian Pacific Region. LITERATURE REVIEW FINDINGS: Qualitative studies on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of malaria interventions have demonstrated that meeting communities at their level of understanding is essential in circumventing malaria spread. In an effort to create a synergy between health care workers, national and global malaria control strategies and pregnant women, there is the need to identify pregnant women’s knowledge, attitudes and practices of malaria interventions. Currently, there is no data on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of pregnant women in the conflict districts of Chhattisgarh, India, where malaria prevalence and related symptoms have been identified to be significantly high. PROPOSED PROJECT: This study seeks to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of malaria prevention and treatment in pregnant women in the conflict areas of Chhattisgarh, India, using a cross-sectional qualitative research design. This study will highlight the understanding of malaria transmission, perceptions of cause, recognition of signs and symptoms, treatment-seeking behaviors, preventive measures and practices of pregnant women who visit the antenatal clinic and those who do not. CONCLUSION: If this study demonstrates knowledge and attitudes that favor customary or unproven methods of malaria interventions as shown in previous studies, then this may explain the present rate of MIP in these districts and hence the need for specific mediations for controlling and preventing malaria in this populace. SIGNIFICANCE: Findings from this study will help inform malaria education programs, health policies and practices that are tailored or targeted towards pregnant women in Chhattisgarh, India.