Quakyi, I. A., Adjei, G. O., Sullivan, D. J., Stephens, J. K., Laar, A., Aubyn, V. N. A., … & Vanotoo, L. (2017)
Malaria is one of the most challenging public health concerns in the developing world. To address its impact in endemic regions, several interventions are implemented by stakeholders. The Affordable Medicine Facility-malaria (AMFm) is an example of such interventions. Its activities include communication interventions to enhance the knowledge of caregivers of children under five years, licensed chemical sellers (LCS) and prescribers on malaria management with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the AMFm activities on malaria among targeted groups in two rural communities in Ghana.
A communication intervention study was conducted in the Asante-Akim North and South Districts of Ghana. Repeated cross-sectional pre and post surveys were deployed. Relevant malaria messages were designed and used to develop the information, education and communication (IEC) tools for the intervention. With the aid of posters and flipcharts developed by our study, community health workers (CHWs), prescribers, and licenced chemical sellers provided proper counselling to clients on malaria management. Trained CHWs and community based volunteers educated caregivers of children under five years on malaria management at their homes and at public gatherings such as churches, mosques, schools. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were run to determine associations and control for demographic differences respectively.
There was significantly high exposure to malaria/ACT interventions in the intervention district than in the comparison district (OR = 16.02; 95% CI = 7.88–32.55) and same for malaria/ACT-related knowledge (OR = 3.63; 95% CI = 2.52–5.23). The participants in the intervention district were also more knowledgeable about correct administration of dispersible drug for children <5 years than their counterparts in the unexposed district.
Our data show that targeted interventions improve malaria based competences in rural community settings. The availability of subsidized ACTs and the intensity of the communication campaigns contributed to the AMFm-related awareness, improved knowledge on malaria/ACTs and management practices.