Determinants of Prevention and Treatment of Malaria among Pregnant Women in Bauchi Metropolis, Nigeria
Malaria in pregnancy has remained a public health challenge in Bauchi Metropolis Nigeria, leading to stillbirths, low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, and maternal deaths. This study investigated the determinants of prevention and treatment of malaria among pregnant women in Bauchi Metropolis, Nigeria. The target group were pregnant women between the ages of 15-49 years old. The study had the following specific objectives: To examine how demographic characteristics of the pregnant women influence malaria prevention and treatment; to establish the prevalence of malaria among pregnant women in Bauchi Metropolis; to examine factors influencing malaria prevention and treatment among pregnant women; and to determine pregnant women‘s knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of treatment and preventive measures against malaria. The study guided by Kleinman‘s (1980) Explanatory Model (EM) and Health Belief Model (HBM) by Becker (1976). It was a cross-sectional survey research design that adopted a quantitative method of data collection and data analysis. The study used a simple random technique to collect data from respondents during antenatal sessions in Bauchi Specialist Hospital. The study used Krejcie and Morgan (1970) formula and arrived at the sample size of 317 respondents. Data was collected using a closed-ended questionnaire and was analyzed and managed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS ver. 22). The study established that maternal age influenced malaria prevalence because more than half of the respondents infected with the disease fall within the age bracket 20 to 29. Poverty was also among the prominent factors that influence malaria prevention and treatment among expectant mothers. On the knowledge of malaria preventive measure usage of insecticide treated nets among the respondents were very low. The study recommends collaboration between line ministries such as Health, Education, Environment, religious leaders, community leaders, and healthcare affiliated NGOs to create awareness and advocacy around malaria, its prevention, treatment and the importance of mosquito treated nets. The study also recommends that pregnant women should be given free ITNs with free malaria treatment as practice in other states of Nigeria.