Educating undergraduate students on malaria: results from a pragmatic pre-test post-test intervention study

Sanjay Kini, Akshay Nabar, Muthukumar R., Nishanth Krishna K.


Background: To tackle the major public health problem of malaria, India has launched the National Vector borne Diseases Programme. Various strategies of this programme strongly depend on community’s knowledge and participation. However, there is a deficiency in evidence on the same from India.

Methods: A single-group pre-test post-test study was carried out among consenting adult students of hotel management in Mangalore, India using a self-administered pre-tested questionnaire with an innovative scoring scheme. Following pre-test, an interactive audio-visual health education session was delivered. The intervention, which was prepared after reviewing the latest guidelines, incorporated many pictures and diagrams. The session covered aetiology, transmission, diagnosis and treatment aspects as well as personal, household and community level measures for prevention and control. Thereafter, post-test was administered.

Results: 91 out of 120 students approached agreed to participate in the study. 4 out of these were lost at post-test yielding an overall response rate of 72.5%. The final participants’ mean age was 20.43 years (SD 1.12 years); 69% were male and all had completed 10+2 education. The median pre-test score was 8.4 points with inter-quartile range from 6.5-9.75; the median post-test score was 9.68 points with inter-quartile range from 7.76–11.1. Wilcoxon signed-ranks test yielded a p value of 0.001365 which was highly significant.

Conclusions: Pending the conduct of better-designed intervention evaluation studies, this study provides a good starting point for designing pragmatic and scalable health education interventions against malaria.


Malaria, Health education, Pre-test post-test, India

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