About Bioline  All Journals  Testimonials  Membership  News

Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
ISSN: 1995-7262
Vol. 30, No. 2, 2018, pp. 99-102
Bioline Code: mm18021
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2018, pp. 99-102

 en Community health priorities: Lessons for malaria prevention from Balaka district, Malawi
Parker, Warren; Pennas, Thaddeus & Kommwa, Innocent


Communication to address priority health challenges typically draws on epidemiological research in conjunction with referencing global and country strategies. While community-level perspectives on health challenges typically align with national priorities, nuances and barriers that constrain health response may be less well known. To deepen understanding of the relation between situational aspects of health and ways of making meaning, community insights into health priorities were explored.
Action Media, an established participatory research methodology for informing health communication design and strategy, was undertaken with parents of children under 5 in Balaka District, Malawi.
Participants identified malaria as a priority concern in their community. While it was reported that there was strong commitment to consistent use of long lasting insecticide treated nets, there was frustration that malaria incidence remained high. It was observed that risk of exposure to mosquito bites was increased as a result of chores and other activities that extended into the early evenings prior to retiring to bed under a bed net. Bed bug infestations were said to be a common and ongoing concern. Some community members alleviated discomfort by abandoning their beds and sleeping outside without adequate protection while others boiled their bed nets to remove bed bugs. Accessing distant health facilities when ill with malaria was difficult for adults and children. Participants identified the need for effective strategies to address these concerns including accessing mosquito repellant, eradicating bed bugs, treating malaria locally and collaborating in malaria control activities.
Meeting targets for malaria prevention requires consideration of contextual factors that undermine effective malaria prevention in affected communities. Such factors are not immediately apparent through epidemiological data. Regularly assessing contextual challenges in high malaria incidence areas provides opportunities to understand gaps, to refine intervention strategies and to inform communication programming.

© Copyright 2018 - The College of Medicine and the Medical Association of Malawi
Alternative site location:

Home Faq Resources Email Bioline
© Bioline International, 1989 - 2023, Site last up-dated on 01-Sep-2022.
Site created and maintained by the Reference Center on Environmental Information, CRIA, Brazil
System hosted by the Google Cloud Platform, GCP, Brazil