Background: Malaria is a life threatening parasitic disease caused by Plasmodium Species, transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. Malaria in pregnancy is an obstetric, social and public health problem of all over the world particularly in tropical and sub – tropical countries which can have serious consequences for both the mother and her unborn child.
Objective: The objective of this study was to gain more understanding on the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions on malaria in pregnancy among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics at hospitals in Okitipupa, Ondo state.
Methodology: This was a descriptive cross – sectional study. A multistage random sampling method was used to select 165 pregnant women attending antenatal clinics at hospitals in Okitipupa. Quantitative method was used for data collection. A self – administered 50 items questionnaire containing 4 sections was used for data collection. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 23.
Results: The mean age of the respondents was 28.6 + 5.1 years, 66.1% were between 26 – 35 years, 95.2% were Christians, 84.2% were Yoruba, and 52.7% had secondary school education, 81.8% have had 1 – 3 pregnancies and births, 40.6% were in their third trimesters. 35.8% were traders. 95.2% of the women strongly had a good knowledge of malaria in pregnancy, 60% strongly agree that antenatal clinics helps in early detection of malaria in pregnancy and 60.6% strongly agree that malaria test during pregnancy is essential for early detection of malaria in pregnancy. The chi – square revealed that there is a relationship between age (p<0.001), level of education (P<0.000), health care centre (P<0.001) and Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions of malaria in pregnancy.
Conclusion: This study therefore concluded that malaria in pregnancy is a global burden which it’s present and future effects are very dangerous to the health of the individual, mother and the foetus in the womb, family, society and the nation at large. It is therefore recommended that health education on malaria in pregnancy should be upheld in high esteem. A clear understanding of the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of a particular community can inform the design of Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) campaigns to measure the risk influence acceptance and use of any malaria control measures.
Keywords: Knowledge, Attitudes, Perceptions, Malaria, Pregnancy