Acceptability by community health workers in Senegal of combining community case management of malaria and seasonal malaria chemoprevention

Roger C K Tine, Pascal Ndiaye, Cheikh T Ndour, Babacar Faye, Jean L Ndiaye, Khadime Sylla, Magatte Ndiaye, Badara Cisse, Doudou Sow, Pascal Magnussen, Ib C Bygbjerg, Oumar Gaye
Malaria Journal 2013, 12: 467

BACKGROUND: Community case management of malaria (CCMm) and seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) are anti-malarial interventions that can lead to substantial reduction in malaria burden acting in synergy. However, little is known about the social acceptability of these interventions. A study was undertaken to assess whether combining the interventions would be an acceptable approach to malaria control for community health workers (CHWs).

METHODS: Sixty-one interviews and six focus group discussions were conducted nested in a cluster-randomized trial assessing the impact of combining CCMm and SMC in a rural area of Senegal. Participants consisted of: (i) members of village associations, (ii) members of families who had access to the interventions as well as members of families who did not access the interventions, (iii) CHWs, and (iv) community leaders, e g, religious guides and village chiefs.

RESULTS: The interventions were acceptable to the local population and perceived as good strategy to make health care services available to community members and thus, to reduce the delays in access to anti-malarial treatment as well as expenses related to patients' transfer to the health post. The use of malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) contributed to improving CHWs diagnostic capacity as well as malaria treatment practices. Study participants notified RDT and drugs stock-out as the major risk for sustainability of the intervention at community level.

CONCLUSION: Combining CCMm and SMC is a well accepted, community-based approach that can contribute to control malaria in areas where malaria transmission is seasonal.

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