Social economic factors and malaria transmission in Lower Moshi, Northern Tanzania
1 Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, P.O. Box 661, Arusha, Tanzania
2 Department of Medical Parasitology and Entomology, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 1464, Mwanza, Tanzania
3 Tropical Pesticides Research Institute, Division of Livestock and Human Disease Vector Control, Mosquito Section, P.O. Box 3024, Arusha, Tanzania
4 KCM College of Tumaini University, P.O. Box 2240, Moshi, Tanzania
5 Department of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3038, Chuo Kikuu - Morogoro, Tanzania
Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:129 doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-129Published: 28 June 2012
For many years social economic status has been used as an indicator to characterize malaria treatment seeking behaviors of communities and their adherence to malaria control programs. The present study was therefore conducted to assess the influence of household social economic status, knowledge, attitude and practice on treatment seeking behaviors, distance to health facilities and vector control measures in the Lower Moshi area, northern Tanzania.
A cross-sectional household survey was carried out, a quantitative method was used to collect information from the households, and the household socio-economic status was estimated by employing a household asset-based approach. The structured questionnaire also collected information on malaria knowledge, attitudes and treatment seeking behaviors.
A total of 197 (68.8% were female) household heads were interviewed. Distance to the health centers influenced malaria treatment seeking behaviors especially for children (P = 0.001) and the number of visits to the health facilities made by the household members (P = 0.001). The head of the households' level of education had an influence on bed-net retreatment (P < 0.001) and acceptability of larval control programmes (P <0.001). Similarly, a significant association was observed between bed-net retreatment, larval control and occupation of the head of the household .
Distance to the health centre influenced malaria treatment seeking behaviors, and the number of visits made by the household members. In addition, the education level of the household heads played a role in understanding and in the selection of malaria interventions for the households. Increasing the number of health facilities close to rural areas will improve malaria treatment seeking behavior, case management and hence reduce malaria-associated morbidities, especially in high risk groups.