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  • Introduction

1.1       Background of The Study

Health education has long been considered as an important approach in the implementation of community based malaria prevention and control intervention in Sub – Sahara Africa (SSA).

Health education in malaria prevention and control intervention traditionally has been championed through radio education, newspaper advertisement, talk shows, television and documentary series. Live concerts and musical shows have been used in communities to educate people about malaria prevention and control, more recently a number of malaria prevention and control in Sub – Sahara Africa (SSA) have utilized participatory techniques in educating communities in malaria intervention, community health workers (CHWs) have also served as health educators in the promotion and education of the appropriate use of insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITNs), intermittent presumptive treatment in pregnancy (IPTP) and home base management of malaria (HMM). Other malaria intervention have utilized community volunteers to educate beneficiaries resulting in increased uptake of intervention. As these intervention take up a greater portion of national governments resources as well as budgetary allocation of international initiatives such as the roll back malaria (RBM) programme, their effectiveness is being questioned due to lack of strong evidence.

Available literature indicates that there exists complex relationship between health education and uptake of malaria interventions, report shows that the use of health education in promoting insecticide treated nets led to an increase in insecticide treated nets usage among pregnant women in Nigeria (Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Health care 2014).

According to Werner and Bower (1982) and Wonye (2004), Health means self-reliance for the person, family, village and the country. Health is a qualifying factor for living.

Oxford English dictionary defined “health as a condition of a person’s body or mind, the state of being physically and mentally healthy”.

World Health Organisation (1948) defined “health as state of complete physical, mental and social well – being not merely absence of disease nor infirmity”.

According to World Health Organisation (2018), “Health Education is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities to improve their health by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes”.

Health education is the main way to reduce the spread of malaria and the use of insecticides treated mosquito net, early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria cases. The health workers play enormous important roles in both the approaches. He/she has ability to increase understanding about malaria and then promote the use of bed nets which can reduce the high mortality and morbidity rate of children and pregnant women within any community.

The health worker also needs good knowledge of the diagnosis of malaria and familiarity with the correct treatment recommended in each country to reduce infection and safe life. Having good knowledge of malaria is probably the single most important aspect of health workers skills in preventing and controlling malaria. Sharing that knowledge with others is also important. Many people in malaria affected area do not know enough about the disease to protect them from infection. UNICEF considers the training of health workers and support for community awareness and participation in malaria programmes as top priorities (UNICEF programme division in co-operation with world health organisation, January 2000).

Malaria is one of the most serious disease that affect people in developing countries with tropical and sub-tropical climates.

It is particularly dangerous for young children and for pregnant women and their unborn child, although others may be seriously affected in some circumstances. Malaria is a curable and preventable disease, but its still kills many people. The main reasons for this unsatisfactory situation are:-

  • Many people living far from health services will often go to local medicine vendors (sellers) for advice, which is not always appropriate or to buy medicines which are not always effective.
  • Many people do not know the causes of malaria or how it is spread so they are able to protect themselves from the disease. As a community health worker, you can improve the situation by performing the following;
  1. To encourage people to seek treatment immediately if they have fever. This is especially important in young children and pregnant women.
  • Some people do not come for treatment until they are very ill because they do not realize they might have malaria (people often think they have a cold, influenza; some they are living far away from health care facilities).

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