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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 141  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 576-583

Establishing communication mechanism for malaria prevention in Baiga tribal villages in Baiga Chak area of Dindori district, Madhya Pradesh

National Institute for Research in Tribal Health (ICMR), Jabalpur, India

Correspondence Address:
Neeru Singh
National Institute for Research in Tribal Health (ICMR), PO-Garha, Nagpur Road, Jabalpur 482 003, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.159516

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Background & objectives: Malaria is a serious public health concern in several parts of India, particularly in tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh (MP). Dindori district inhabitated by Baiga tribe, contributes about 15 per cent to the total malaria burden in MP. The tribal and other local inhabitants believe in magico-religious treatment of malaria and use modern health facilities only as second line of treatment. The present study was planned in the villages of one of the particularly vulnerable tribal group of MP, the Baigas. The objective of the study was to generate awareness and utilization of health services for malaria by establishing a communication strategy using local students and unemployed youths as agents of change. Methods: The study was undertaken in 47 villages and the need based IEC (information, education and communication) intervention was evaluated within four months of initiation by adopting before and after with control design. For both baseline and resurvey the households covered each time were 2350. Results: The baseline data generated revealed that around 53 per cent of the people in the study villages were aware of malaria. Among the non Baigas, 59 per cent were aware of malaria, while among the Baigas it was 49 per cent. IEC intervention could raise the level of awareness to malaria significantly with a net intervention effect of 23 per cent. The IEC intervention also improved the utilization of modern health services significantly. Interpretation & conclusions: The IEC strategy designed by using local children and youths was effective as the malaria was on decline in the study area. The same strategy with necessary modifications may be replicated in other areas pandemic for malaria.

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