Malaria-related knowledge and prevention practices in four neighbourhoods in and around Mumbai, India: A cross-sectional study

Gaurav Dhawan, Nidhin Joseph, Penelope S. Pekow, Christine A. Rogers, Krishna C. Poudel, Maria T. Bulzacchelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: India accounts for the highest number of malaria cases outside of Africa. Eighty per cent of India's population lives in malaria-risk areas, with cases increasing in urban areas. Mumbai, India, one of the most populous cities in the world, has experienced such an increase. To be successful, many malaria control efforts require community participation, which in turn depends on individuals' knowledge and awareness of the disease. This study assessed the knowledge and prevention practices regarding malaria in residents of four different areas of Mumbai, India, around the time of a malaria outbreak and the start of a widespread awareness campaign. Methods. A cross-sectional comparative study assessed malaria-related knowledge and prevention practices in four geographically and socio-demographically distinct areas of Mumbai, India. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was administered to a stratified random sample of 119 households between 16 December 2010 and 30 January 2011. Participant socio-demographic characteristics, malaria knowledge, malaria prevention practices, and household environmental factors were examined overall and compared across the four areas of Mumbai. Results: Overall, respondents had excellent knowledge of the mosquito as the means of transmission of malaria, mosquito biting times and breeding sites, and fever as a symptom of malaria. However, many respondents also held misconceptions about malaria transmission and symptoms. Respondents generally knew that bed nets are an effective prevention strategy, but only 30% used them, and only 4% used insecticide-treated bed nets. Knowledge and prevention practices varied across the four areas of Mumbai. Conclusions: Although most residents know that bed nets are effective in preventing malaria, usage of bed nets is very low, and almost no residents use insecticide-treated bed nets. As the four areas of Mumbai differed in knowledge, prevention practices, and primary sources of information, malaria control campaigns should be tailored according to the knowledge gaps, practices, environments, resources, and preferences in different areas of the city, using the interpersonal and media channels most likely to reach the target audiences. Malaria control efforts involving bed nets should emphasize use of insecticide-treated bed nets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number303
JournalMalaria journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 7 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Awareness
  • Bed nets
  • India
  • Knowledge
  • Malaria
  • Mosquito
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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