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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 2420-2425

A comparative study on knowledge and practice against malaria among Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) of low and high endemic regions of Tripura, Northeast India


1 Model Rural Health Research Unit, Tripura, India
2 Model Rural Health Research Unit; Department of Community Medicine, Agartala Government Medical College, Tripura, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Purvita Chowdhury
Model Rural Health Research Unit (MRHRU), Near Kherengbar Hospital, Khumulwng, Tripura - 7990035
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1169_19

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Introduction: This study was conducted to compare and evaluate the knowledge as well as the practice of community health volunteers, Accredited social health activists (ASHAs) in low and high malaria-endemic regions of Tripura, Northeast India. Materials and Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional study, all ASHAs working in the randomly selected two blocks of each low and high malaria-endemic areas were included in the study. While ASHAs with less than 1-year experience were excluded from the study. The ASHAs were interviewed and information was gathered on knowledge and practice against malaria management. Chi-square test was used to identify differences in responses among the ASHAs. Results: Significant differences in knowledge of mixed malarial infection (P < 0.001) and early symptoms of malaria (P = 0.005) were observed when responses of high malaria-endemic ASHAs (HMEA) were compared to low endemic ASHAs (LMEA). With respect to malaria testing skills, 83.16% HMEA affirmed that they could perform Rapid diagnostic (RD) kit tests as opposed to 57.24% LMEA, (P < 0.001). Disturbingly only two HMEA could correctly describe the duration for Pf and Pv treatment. Conclusion: The study identifies major lacunae in the balance of knowledge and practices of ASHAs in both study areas of Tripura. Therefore,for a successful projected malaria elimination program, community-level ASHA volunteers need to have accurate malaria knowledge and management approaches irrespective of the endemicity. This study will help to understand the operational constraints and plan educational training for ASHA volunteers in malaria-endemic regions.


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