Consumer survey of malaria fact card: an educational and communication tool in Tanzania.East Afr J Public Health. 2007 Oct; 4(2):59-63.EA
To determine the usefulness of the malaria fact card as a health educational and communication tool in Dar Es Salaam.
A prospective consumer survey pilot study on the malaria fact card, a health educational and communication tool was carried out between January and February 2004 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Parameters studied include consumers' understanding of the malaria fact card, consumer behavioural responses and awareness of malaria prevention and treatment. A total of 131 respondents from 10 randomly selected community pharmacies in which malaria fact cards were distributed since 2003 participated in the study. Data were collected using structured and semi structured questionnaires.
It was found that 95% of respondents reported that the fact card was easy to read and understand. The study revealed that 64.6% (n = 127) responses acknowledged getting new information on correct treatment of malaria using Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP), while 8.6% acquired new information about prevention strategies. Only 33% of the consumers surveyed indicated to visit the pharmacies on regular basis. Further, results indicated that 84% of respondents asked the pharmacists for health information and/or advice when purchasing antimalarial medicines. Of all responses 38% (n = 179) related to prevention strategies and 26.8% related to correct use of SP medications.
We conclude that the malaria fact card is useful as a health educational and communication tool . It is recommended that pharmacists should provide quality and educative information through use of communication tools such as updated malaria fact cards.