This study aimed to evaluate the role of basic health staff in rural areas and provide inputs to National Malaria Control Program towards malaria elimination in Myanmar.
A cross-sectional study was carried out in six rural townships of malaria pre-elimination settings from six different states/ regions. All basic health staff including midwives, ladies health visitors, public health supervisors and health assistants and National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) staff including team leader, malaria assistant, malaria inspector and malaria supervisor from selected townships were recruited. Self-administered questionnaire was employed to the basic health staff and NMCP staff, and key informant interview (KII) was carried to Township medical officers and team leaders from state/ region.
A total of 544 respondents and 10 KII. Of them, 84% were currently working at the rural health centers and sub-centers, where there is no hospital at the village. About 94% of respondents reported that they had received at least one time for malaria elimination training and mean frequency of training attended was reported as 7 times. Only 24% of respondents could answer the correct knowledge of malaria elimination and 44% could answer correctly about the malaria case definition. More than 96% knew that core intervention for prevention of malaria is the universal access to and the use of insecticide treated net and long lasting insecticide treated nets. Mean knowledge score for basic malaria knowledge was 29.2 (range 16-40) and mean knowledge score about malaria elimination was 31.4 (range 19-43). Of them, majority of them (47% and 44% respectively) had medium knowledge score.
Basic health staff are still needed to improve their knowledge for malaria elimination and required to support for their action plan related to immediate response and treatment of malaria cases in the pre-elimination settings.