Knowledges, attitudes and practice regarding malaria in a vulnerable municipality in Colombia. Revista Cubana de Medicina Tropical. 2022;74(3):e872

Estrellas inactivasEstrellas inactivasEstrellas inactivasEstrellas inactivasEstrellas inactivas
Introduction: In Colombia, malaria affects people in vulnerable conditions. In urban areas, disease control measures have decreased the incidence of malaria in the past 5 years. However, there is some government abandonment in areas with armed conflict. Objective: To determine the knowledges, attitudes and practice regarding malaria in Piñalito, a town located in the municipality of Vista Hermosa in the Meta department (Colombia), in the period 2016-2017. Methods: We conducted a mixed-methods study using a survey consisting of 45 questions on knowledge, attitudes, and practices and semistructured interviews with medical personnel and government workers. Results: Of the respondents, 89.13% said that malaria is a health problem, 63.04% said the disease is transmitted by a mosquito bite, main symptoms were reported to be high fever (78.26%) and  headache (60.87%). A total of 73.91% of respondents affirmed using mosquito nets to avoid the disease. The community affirmed that they do not receive good medical attention (65.22%) and did not identify the active participation of the local health secretary to prevent malaria. Conclusions: The inhabitants of Piñalito demonstrated adequate knowledge about the disease and positive attitudes toward preventing malaria. However, they had negative perceptions about the actions of the secretary of health and the government for control and prevention of the disease.
Keywords: mosquito vectors; vector borne diseases; poverty; public health.