- Community response to intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in infants (IPTi) in Papua New Guinea
- Malaria Journal
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- Number of pages
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- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Building on previous acceptability research undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa this article aims to investigate the acceptability of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in infants (IPTi) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
A questionnaire was administered to mothers whose infants participated in the randomised placebo controlled trial of IPTi. Mothers whose infants participated and who refused to participate in the trial, health workers, community reporters and opinion leaders were interviewed. Men and women from the local community also participated in focus group discussions.
Respondents viewed IPTi as acceptable in light of wider concern for infant health and the advantages of trial participation. Mothers reported complying with at-home administration of IPTi due to perceived benefits of IPTi and pressure from health workers. In spite of patchy knowledge, respondents also demonstrated a demand for infant vaccinations and considered non-vaccination to be neglect. There is little evidence that IPTi has negative impacts on attitudes to EPI, EPI adherence or existing malaria prevention practices.
The degree of similarity between findings from the acceptability studies undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa and PNG allows some generalization relating to the implementation of IPTi outside of Africa: IPTi fits well with local health cultures, appears to be accepted easily and has little impact on attitudes towards EPI or malaria prevention. The study adds to the evidence indicating that IPTi could be rolled out in a range of social and cultural contexts.
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