This paper examines consumer perceptions, health seeking behaviours, and expenditures for malaria treatment and their implications for measuring malaria burden and improving its treatment, using focus group discussions and questionnaire in three malaria hyper-endemic villages in Enugu State, Southeast Nigeria. The results show that peoples understanding of malaria was related to fever and other symptoms, thus, affecting their perceptions of malaria and health seeking practices and this could lead to overestimation of actual costs of malaria based only on surveys without diagnostic confirmation of the disease. Hence, survey-based estimations of burden of malaria should control for the different local terminologies of malaria and fever-based illnesses and health personnel should be aware of these in order to improve the rational use of antimalarial drugs.
Tropical Doctor (2005) 35 (4) 224-225 [doi:10.1258/004947505774938792]
Issues of measuring and improving the treatment of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa
Published 4 December 2006