Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Global morbidity and mortality associated with malaria is rampant, and most of the clinical malaria cases are found in sub Saharan Africa. Previous and current research show that malaria is both preventable and treatable and that socioeconomic variables have a profound influence on how persons in rural Africa respond to malaria infections and the associated preventive strategies. This study assessed two key research questions for malaria cases in the Gusii region of Kenya regarding: First, whether a community education program on malaria has an impact in changing malaria preventive behaviors; and, second, if a relationship exists between socioeconomic factors and participants' knowledge and associated behavioral change to control malaria cases. Participatory model and social cognitive theory were used in conjunction with a community intervention with pre-post-test approach. Ten trainees each interviewed 36 participants, for a total of 360 participants, using a structured questionnaire before and after providing a layperson health education program (LPHEP) related to malaria prevention. Repeated measures one-way ANOVA, Chi-square, and Cramer's V test were used for the test of significance. Results showed statistically significant differences between pre- and post-test scores on signs and symptoms of malaria. Participants were able to identify and stated > 2 signs and symptoms of malaria after exposure to the LPHEP. Implications for positive social change included evidence that a simple LPHEP can improve malaria knowledge level.