Weekly Awesome: To do or not to do

Often times in Uganda, people have told me the many reasons as to why
they cannot prevent malaria. It is a common attitude and belief that
malaria is just a part of life here.  Recently, I had the opportunity
to explore these beliefs and attitudes on malaria by piloting a
barrier analysis. With the help of my community counterpart Maganda
Patrick, I am currently administering a Doer/Non Doer questionnaire at
my site.

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As a health volunteer at a rural health center, I have seen
the year round prevalence of malaria. Most recently, I asked my
supervisor if she had any suggested topics for health education; in
which she emphasized malaria. Conducting the questionnaire at site has
given me a greater insight into malaria knowledge and attitudes in my
community. I have had many interesting conversations with people who
learned that I was administering the questionnaire. One interesting
comment was that the words for flu and malaria in my region are
interchangeable and therefore people fail to distinguish one from the
other.

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So far the most surprising finding for me was that the majority
of the participants are Doers and stated that they had slept under a
mosquito the night before, and do so for everyday of the week. This is
especially interesting considering that it is the dry season and that
people are unlikely to use a mosquito net due to the heat. In a recent
interview with a questionnaire participant who was a Doer, he
explained that he would not usually use a mosquito net in the dry
season. I am excited to share the findings with the staff of my health
center.