Focus group discussion
To assess perceptions on community case management of malaria with focus on health literacy
• Community-based agents
• Community health workers
Perceptions on existing malaria programmes were grouped into five themes:
• Mothers valued the programmes due to possibility of education; “I was involved in the malaria programme because of my work as a prophetess (a religious female leader). People in the community do come to me with all kinds of sickness, so I thought it wise to involve myself to get the chance to be educated and to educate other people in the community in sleeping in the mosquito nets”.
• Nudging and reaching out through existing social platforms to promote healthy practices; “I’ve heard about the malaria programme because even last year, they came to share mosquito nets to us”.
• Health education presented as instruction; “Some of the mothers did not follow the instructions that was giving to us. They were supposed to dry the net in the sun before sleeping in but some of the mothers didn’t follow the instruction and there were complaints of facial itching.”
• Strong agency of mothers willing to support peers to understand and use health information; “I and other mothers were also doing the sweeping of the venue every morning and evening to enhance or facilitate the sharing of the mosquito nets. We also saw it wise to come together to educate ourselves and other mothers in the community to prevent malaria”.
• Possible cultural barriers for health promotion.
• Conclusion: A future intervention should focus on interactive health education during social gathering like the child welfare clinic; and inclusion of community health volunteers with incentives.