Towards improved uptake of malaria chemoprophylaxis among West African travellers: identification of behavioural determinants.Malar J. 2013 Oct 10; 12:360.MJ
Malaria is a potentially lethal illness for which preventive measures are not optimally used among all travellers. Travellers visiting friends and relatives in their country of origin (VFRs) are known to use chemoprophylaxis less consistently compared to tourist travellers. In this study, factors explaining the low use of chemoprophylaxis were pursued to contribute to improving uptake of preventive measures among VFRs.
Following in-depth interviews with Ghanaians living in Amsterdam, a questionnaire was developed to assess which behavioural determinants were related to taking preventive measures. The questionnaire was administered at gates of departing flights from Schiphol International Airport, Amsterdam (the Netherlands) to Kotoka International Airport, Accra (Ghana).
In total, 154 questionnaires were eligible for analysis. Chemoprophylaxis had been started by 83 (53.9%) and bought by 93 (60.4%) travellers. Pre-travel advice had been obtained by 104 (67.5%) travellers. Those who attended the pre-travel clinic and those who incorrectly thought they had been vaccinated against malaria were more likely to use preventive measures. Young-, business- and long-term travellers, those who had experienced malaria, and those who thought curing malaria was easier than taking preventive tablets were less likely to use preventive measures.
Almost half of the VFRs travelling to West Africa had not started chemoprophylaxis; therefore, there is room for improvement. Risk reduction strategies could aim at improving attendance to travel clinics and focus on young-, business and long term travellers and VFRs who have experienced malaria during consultation. Risk reduction strategies should focus on improving self-efficacy and conceptions of response efficacy, including social environment to aim at creating the positive social context needed.