MWJ2016, 7, 3
We studied the knowledge, attitude and practices of pregnant women on malaria prevention, assessed their knowledge of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) for intermittent preventive therapy in pregnancy (IPTp-SP), and used the outcomes to create awareness on malaria prevention with IPTp-SP. A structured questionnaire on malaria prevention and SP utilisation was administered to 450 pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in both government and private health facilities in Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria. 355 (78.8%) of the pregnant women perceived malaria as a serious illness. Other responses by the respondents included: parasitic disease (13; 2.9%); caused by mosquito (5; 1.9%), while 77 (17%) said they did not know. The signs and symptoms of malaria mentioned included headache (109; 24.2%), weakness (77; 17.1%), fever (77; 17.1%) and body pains (44; 10%). 174 (58%) women indicated that they would go to a hospital when having malaria, 54 (17%) indulged in self-medication, while 32 (11%) took herbs. 43 (14%) did nothing. Malaria prevention was performed by taking herbs (134; 30%); artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) (123; 27%); daraprim (104; 23%); blood tonic (51; 11%); paracetamol (21; 5%) and SP (17; 4%). Mosquito control was mainly carried out by the use of insecticide spray (215; 47.7%), followed by anti-mosquito coils (95; 21%). Out of the 450 pregnant women interviewed, 350 (84.5%) said that SP was for the treatment of malaria, while 69 (15.2%) said that it was for malaria prevention. Knowledge of SP was influenced by both education (P<0.05) and parity (P<0.001). The majority of the pregnant women had knowledge of SP but did not know that it is used for malaria prevention. Most of the respondents took malaria-preventive measures by taking herbs but preferred to go to the hospital when suspecting that they had malaria.