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ZANZIBAR: Social, behavioral change interventions key to addressing malaria knowledge gaps

Feb. 16, 2023
ZANZIBAR: Social, behavioral change interventions key to addressing malaria knowledge gaps
A snip from the Malaria journal with an inset of Ifakara Health Institute researcher, Dr. Samson Kiware, who was among the contributors to the study and publication. GRAPHIC | IFAKARA/KMC.

Researchers from Tanzania and the USA, who undertook a study in Zanzibar last year and found low levels of malaria knowledge, have called for “tailored social and behavioural change interventions” to address the issue.

Seasoned public health researcher, Dr. Samson Kiware and John Mbaraka from Ifakara Health Institute along with five colleagues from other research institutions in Tanzania and USA recommend this in their latest scientific article published on the Malaria Journal on February 2, 2023.

“Low levels of malaria knowledge were documented among elderly and populations with lower education and income levels. There is a need to extend mobilization, advocacy, and expand channels of communication to reach all community members,” the researchers say.

The researchers underline that the reported gaps in knowledge are important to consider when designing strategies to engage communities in malaria elimination in Zanzibar. “Tailored social and behavioural change interventions aiming to increase malaria knowledge could enhance the uptake of malaria prevention services in the community,” they conclude.

Apart from Dr. Kiware and Mbaraka, other contributors to the study and publication include: Faiza Abbas and Mwinyi Khamis from the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Programme (ZAMEP), Zanzibar; and Emmanuel Kigadye and Fauzia Mohamed from the Open University of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam.

Other contributors are: Naomi Serbantez from the US President’s Malaria Initiative, Dar es Salaam; Abdul-Wahid Al-Mafazy from RTI International, Dar es Salaam; and April Monroe from Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Baltimore, USA.

>> Read full article: Socio-demographic trends in malaria knowledge and implications for behaviour change interventions in Zanzibar