Factors Associated With Malaria Occurrence in Narok Town Ward, Narok County, Kenya

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Mount Kenya University
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Despite malaria being a life threating but preventable disease, it is the foremost cause of disease and death in Kenya; over 25 million individuals are at risk with estimated 6.7 million new clinical cases and 4,000 deaths each year. It is approximated to cause 20% of all deaths in children under the age of five. This study was aimed at identifying factors associated with malaria occurrence in Narok Town Ward, Narok County, Kenya, so as to generate evidence to be used to enhance efforts for focused malaria control in Narok Town and similar urban areas in Kenya. The data was collected by administering structured questionnaire to household heads of the 480 randomly selected households and capturing mosquitoes in 36 randomly selected households. There were 2010 inhabitants in the 480 selected household, majority of the residents were aged 1-14 (34.1%) and 25-44 (34.6%); the proportion of females was 58.8% (1182). Pregnant females were 2.9% (58/2010). The literacy rate was 93.9%. Majority of the households (79.0%) reported having a monthly income of Kshs. 20,000 and above. About 97.92 % (470/480) of the total responders recognized that malaria was spread by mosquitos. Fever, vomiting, headache and chills were reported by majority of the respondents 99.56% (478/480) as the main symptoms of malaria. 68.33% (328/480) of respondents rated malaria as an ordinary disease while 24.58% (118/480) rated malaria as a deadly disease; 86.0% (413/480) reported to have sought malaria treatment in public hospitals while 74.4% (367/480) of the responders reported purchasing drug over the counter. The study revealed 1.04% (21/2010) prevalence rate of malaria disease. The most frequent mosquito breeding site was water held in garbage 85.4% (410/480) and stagnant dirty water 81.0% (389/480). 31.7% reported to have been clearing stagnant water and 67.1% (322/480) covered water holding containers to prevent mosquito breeding. The most reported mosquito bite time was at night 100% (480/480) and morning 53.3% (246/480). 91.0% (437/480) of responders reported to have been using mosquito net in their beds. Most people 96.5% (463/480) indicated that they had learned about malaria on TV and radio advertisements. Out of the total 2257 mosquitoes that were collected, Anopheles mosquitoes (malaria vector) were 8.4% (190/2257), 4.7% (9/190) of anopheline mosquitoes tested positive for Plasmodium sporozoites. Regardless of high level of literacy, knowledge on malaria cycle, and presence of plasmodium infected anopheline species. a significant gaps relating to diagnosis, treatment and control was evident. There were high percentage (74.4%) of people preferring to purchase drugs without a prescription and failure by community members to carry out outdoor vector control and prevention measures. This study presents proof that point to the need by the relevant agencies to establish regular public health awareness and trainings, cultivate community based environmental hygiene, maintain regular mass LLITN distribution, regular training of health care workers and CHV and establishment of the county based mosquito surveillance and research center in order to keep track of the mosquito borne pathogens.