Stella Babalola, Nan Lewicky, Grace Awantang, Michael Toso, Hannah Koenker, Arsene Ratsimbasoa, Monique Vololona of the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs and the Division for Malaria Control, Madagascar Presented findings on how local perceptions help predict uptake of malaria interventions at the 143rd American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, October 31 – November 4, 2015, in Chicago. Their presentation on Liberia and Madagascar is summarized below.
While Liberia has an average malaria parasitemia prevalence of 28%, malaria is considerable less common in Madagascar and varies by region and altitude. This difference provides an interesting opportunity to observe similarities and contrasts in community perceptions of the disease.
- “New ways of thinking and the diffusion of those ways of thinking by means of exposure to mass media and social interactions in local, culturally homogeneous communities” – Kincaid, 2000
- “views and ideas that people hold individually” – van de Kaa 1996
The ideation model has successfully predicted current use of a contraceptive method as well as accessing childhood immunization. The team took up the challenge to learn whether this model would be applicable to malaria interventions.
Malaria-related ideation was proposed to consist of: Malaria knowledge (cause, symptom, prevention); Perceived susceptibility to malaria; Perceived severity of malaria; Perceived self-efficacy to prevent malaria; and Social interactions about malaria. These may lead to uptake of malaria interventions.
Items for measuring bed net ideation could include – knowing where to procure a bed net, Willingness to pay for bed net, Having a positive attitudes towards bed net (derived from ten attitudinal statements), Perceived response-efficacy of bed nets, Perceived self-efficacy for procuring and using bed nets, Participation in household decisions about bed nets, Descriptive norm about bed net use and Social interactions about bed net use.
Percent of female caregivers that slept under an ITN on the night before survey increased by level (score) of bed net ideation as seen in the graph. Results (odds ratio) of logistic regression of sleeping under an ITN on bed net ideation and other covariates showed a similar trend.
- Knows name of the drug for malaria prevention during pregnancy
- Knows the timing of first dose of IPTp
- Has positive attitudes towards ANC and IPTp (derived from four attitudinal statements)
- Perceived response-efficacy of IPTp
- Woman participates in decisions about own health
- Social interactions about malaria and pregnancy
- Descriptive norm about ANC visits
The percent of women who took at least two doses of IPTp during their most recent pregnancy also increased by level of IPTp ideation Likewise the results (odds ratio) of logistic regression of obtaining at least two doses of IPTp on IPTp ideation and other covariates were highest among those with highest levels of ideation.
Items for measuring case management ideation included –
- Perceived response efficacy of malaria diagnostic test
- Perceived self-efficacy for detecting uncomplicated malaria
- Perceived self-efficacy for detecting severe malaria
- Descriptive norm about prompt treatment of malaria in children
- Social interactions about malaria treatment
- Participation in household decisions about child health
- Positive attitudes towards appropriate malaria treatment
Again the percent of children sick with fever in past two weeks who received prompt ACT treatment by caregiver’s increased with increasing level of treatment ideation. As before the results (odds ratio) of logistic regression of prompt ACT treatment on caregiver’s treatment ideation and other covariates shows highest levels of ideation were associated with greated treatment seeking.
The team concluded that the same ideation model with demonstrated validity for family planning, child immunization, WASH and other health behaviors is relevant for malaria prevention and treatment. Strategically designed messages and interventions addressing ideational variables can help foster adoption of health-protective malaria prevention and treatment behaviors.
The authors acknowledge The US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) for technical guidance on the implementation of the surveys and The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia and the Ministry of Health in Madagascar for their collaboration on the surveys.