The study was done purposely to get evidence-based knowledge in order to establish the best predictors of behavior that could increase an individual’s active involvement in their health care especially seeking timely appropriate treatment for malaria or suspected malaria. The study was premised on the fact that Uganda government and development partners had engaged in various communication activities and programs with a view to change people’s behaviors regarding malaria, mobilize communities and create an enabling environment for sound health practices. However, malaria had remained one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in Uganda.
Thus, a cross-sectional survey using a correlational design was employed and a clustered sample of 380 rural households in 05 sub-counties of Kanungu district was selected. Data was corrected using researcher-administered questionnaires, key-informant interviews and focus group discussions. Analysis was made using SPSS Ver.23
Using a structural Equation model, results indicated that there was a significant positive relationship between knowledge of health communications and personal orientation; then, situational factors and treatment seeking behavior. There was also a significant positive relationship between personal orientation and treatment seeking behavior.
The best predictor of treatment seeking behavior was assessed to be personal orientation. Thus, more communications effort should be laid on bridging the gap between individual’s personal orientations towards seeking treatment, and then situational factors especially those related to cost of treatment since mere knowledge doesn’t not necessarily result into significant behavioral change in the face of risk factors and structural barriers to seeking early prompt treatment.