Community knowledge and perceptions on malaria prevention and house screening in Nyabondo, Western Kenya
Background: Screening of houses to prevent mosquito entry is increasingly being recommended as an effective and practical method against malaria transmission through reduced human-mosquito contact. The objective of the study was to assess community knowledge and perceptions on malaria prevention and house screening in a malaria endemic area of Western Kenya. Methods: A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in 2017 in Nyabondo area of western Kenya. A total of 80 households were randomly selected to participate in the study within 16 villages. Structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were used to collect data. Results: A total of 80 respondents participated in the survey and more than half (53.8%) reported to have attained primary education. About 91% of the respondents had previously seen or heard malaria messages and this was associated with the respondents level of education (2=10.163; df 4; P=0.038, 95% CI). However, other variables like gender, marital status, religion and occupation were not significantly associated with knowledge in malaria. Insecticide treated mosquito nets was by far the most reported known (97.4%) and applied (97.6%) personal protective while only 15.6% respondents were aware of house screening. The major reason given for screening doors, windows and eaves was to prevent entry of mosquito and other insects (>85%). Lack of awareness was the major reason given for not screening houses. Grey colour was the most preferred choice for screen material (48%), and the main reason given was that grey matched the colour of the walls (21%) and did not gather' dust quickly. Conclusion: House screening was not a common intervention for self-protection against malaria vectors in the study area. There is need to advocate and promote house screening to increase community knowledge on this as an additional integrated vector management strategy for malaria control.