High mobility and low use of malaria preventive measures among the Jarai male youth along the Cambodia-Vietnam border
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. - Baltimore, Md
, p. 810-818
University of Antwerp
Malaria control along the Vietnam Cambodia border presents a challenge for both countries' malaria elimination targets as the region is forested, inhabited by ethnic minority populations, and potentially characterized by early and outdoor malaria transmission. A mixed methods study assessed the vulnerability to malaria among the Jarai population living on both sides of the border in the provinces of Ratanakiri (Cambodia) and Gia Lai (Vietnam). A qualitative study generated preliminary hypotheses that were quantified in two surveys, one targeting youth (N = 498) and the other household leaders (N = 449). Jarai male youth, especially in Cambodia, had lower uptake of preventive measures (57.4%) and more often stayed overnight in the deep forest (35.8%) compared with the female youth and the adult population. Among male youth, a high-risk subgroup was identified that regularly slept at friends' homes or outdoors, who had fewer bed nets (32.5%) that were torn more often (77.8%). The vulnerability of Jarai youth to malaria could be attributed to the transitional character of youth itself, implying less fixed sleeping arrangements in nonpermanent spaces or non-bed sites. Additional tools such as long-lasting hammock nets could be suitable as they are in line with current practices.