IMPROVING UPTAKE OF MALARIA PREVENTION METHODS IN GOKWE NORTH - BURURE AREA
Burure is a rural area under Gokwe North District. The area is under developed with health facilities about 20km away. Gokwe North is one of the top ten malarias districts in Zimbabwe with incidents rates going as high as 800 cases per 1000 people. The problem faced by Burure was that Ministry of Health and Child Welfare have been providing a lot of prevention methods to the vulnerable populations but outbreaks continued to wreck the area.
The Church worked with schools around the area and some women groups to mobilise community members to utilise prevention methods like Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN), Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and environmental management. A number of activities were conducted to disseminate information; these include dramas, songs, health talks and discussions. These activities were done in 2010 and 2011.
There was a decrease in the number of malaria cases and deaths in Burure. This was due to an increase in the uptake of prevention methods. Absenteeism from school was also reduced. According to the headmaster of Burure primary school, Mr Zhou, in the previous years the school recorded between 5 and 7 deaths per year due to malaria but ever since the project started no deaths were recorded.
Public health interventions often provide services without engaging the beneficiaries on why they should receive the services. Health education and behaviour change communication is paramount to the success of any public health intervention.