Relationship between knowledge levels on malaria prevention and self-care actions in primigravidae aged 18 to 35 years at Harare Maternity Hospital.
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Malaria in pregnancy remains an obstetric, social and medical problem despite national control programmes in Zimbabwe. An increase in the number of episodes of malaria is witnessed year after year in Zimbabwe, particularly at Harare Maternity Hospital (H.M.H). Mudambo and SADC Military Malaria Technical Committee, 2009 reported an import of malaria by military into Malaria Free Zones, south of the Zambezi River, which is a threat to malaria elimination in the SADC region. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between malaria prevention self-care knowledge and malaria episodes, among primigravidae at H.M.H. self-care model guided this study as a conceptual framework. A descriptive correlational study design was used. Quantitative Data were collected from a systematic sample of 80 participants using face to face interviews. Three questionnaires were developed by the investigator, namely the Demographic Data Questionnaire (DDQ), Malaria Episodes Questionnaire (MEQ) and Malaria Prevention Self-Care Knowledge Questionnaire (MPSCKQ) were used as research instruments. Descriptive inferential statistics were used to analyse data, using the statistical package for Social Sciences. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to determine the self-care actions taken by primigravidae aged 18 to 35 years, if they were related to their knowledge. The findings revealed a positive borderline relationship between knowledge levels and self care actions, (r = .045, p = <.693). The findings showed that the higher the knowledge levels the more the primigravidae exhibited self-care actions in preventing malaria. The study ended with recommendations to empower primigravidae on skills to prevent malaria.