Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of the University Students on Malaria Prevention in Kavango East, Namibia

  •  Victoria Jacob    
  •  Vistolina Nuuyoma    


Malaria remains a public health concern in Namibia and it is endemic in many regions, including Kavango east region. University students in Kavango east region are at risk of malaria due to bushy environment and the presence of Kavango river, which makes it easy for mosquitoes to multiply. This study aimed to assess and describe knowledge, attitudes and practices of malaria prevention among university students. A quantitative descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted, using a pretested questionnaire to collect data from 239 university students in Kavango east region. A proportionate stratified random sampling was used to sample students from the three faculties on campus. Data were analysed with a Statistical Programme of Social Sciences.

The overall response rate was 75% (239) from a total of 318 respondents. Mean age was 21.4 years, respondents comprised of 155 (64.9%) females and 84 (35.1%) males. Almost all respondents (94.5%) know that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and 80% of respondents indicated that malaria is preventable. Usage of mosquito net was the most commonly known preventive measure, indicated by 224 (94%) of respondents. The vast majority of respondents 227 (95%) agreed that the appropriate method to prevent self from getting malaria is to prevent mosquito bites. Surprisingly 80 (33%) of the respondents believe that only children and pregnant women get malaria and therefore it’s only them who need preventive measures. Only 43 (18%) of the respondents always sleep under mosquito nets to prevent themselves from getting malaria. It was concluded that university students in Kavango east region have good knowledge on malaria prevention measures. Although there were some misconceptions noted, especially on the identification of population at risk of malaria, the attitudes on malaria prevention are generally satisfactory. However, the knowledge and attitudes do not reflect in the students’ practices. 

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