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The acceptability of targeted mass treatment with primaquine for local elimination of vivax malaria in a northern Myanmar township: a mixed-methods study.

Abstract

Background

Radical cure of the Plasmodium vivax latent liver stage is required to effectively manage vivax malaria. Targeted mass treatment with primaquine may be an effective mechanism for reducing reservoirs of the disease. Since community engagement and high coverage are essential for mass treatment programs, this study aimed to determine the acceptability of mass primaquine treatment in a targeted community in a northern Myanmar township.

Methods

A cross-sectional mixed-methods study was deployed among household leaders in July 2019. Face-to-face interviews using structured questionnaires and standardized qualitative guidelines were conducted to gather information. Descriptive and inferential statistics, including logistic regression models, were applied.

Results

Among 609 study respondents, > 90% agreed to participate in an upcoming targeted mass primaquine treatment (TPT) program. Factors contributing to higher odds of acceptability of the program were older age [adjusted odds ratios (aOR): 2.38, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.08-8.96], secondary education level (aOR: 3.99, 95% CI 1.12-20.01), having good knowledge of malaria (aOR: 2.12, 95% CI 1.04-4.76), experiencing malaria within the family (aOR: 1.92, 95% CI 1.14-5.13), and believing eliminating malaria from the village is possible (aOR: 2.83, 95% CI 1.07-4.07). Furthermore, 50 community respondents, 6 midwives, and 4 public health staff (grade II) participated in the qualitative component of the study. Many thought that TPT seemed feasible and stressed that high coverage of underserved groups and health education are needed before commencing the activity.

Conclusions

Most respondents agreed to participate in the proposed mass treatment campaign. Older people with secondary education level and those who had experienced malaria within their families were most likely to report willingness to participate. These same individuals may be important in the community engagement process to increase community acceptance of the program.

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