Malaria care-seeking and treatment ideation among gold miners in Guyana

Bolanle Olapeju*, Camille Adams, Sean Wilson, Joann Simpson, Gabrielle C. Hunter, Trish Ann Davis, Lyndsey Mitchum, Horace Cox, Kashana James, Jennifer Orkis, J. Douglas Storey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Although miners are a priority population in malaria elimination in Guyana, scant literature exists on the drivers of malaria-related behaviour. This study explores the relationship between gold miners’ malaria-related ideation and the adoption of malaria care-seeking and treatment behaviours including prompt care-seeking, malaria testing, and self-medication. Methods: Data are from a cross-sectional quantitative survey of 1685 adult miners between the ages of 18–59 years who live in mining camps in Regions 1, 7, and 8. The analysis focused on miners who reported an episode of fever in the past year (n = 745). Malaria care-seeking and treatment ideation was defined as a composite additive score consisting of the following variables: general malaria knowledge, perceived severity, perceived susceptibility, beliefs, perceived self-efficacy, perceived norms, interpersonal communication, and perceived response efficacy. Multivariable logistic regressions explored the relationship between ideation on care-seeking/treatment behaviours, controlling for confounding variables. Results: Most miners with a recent episode of fever had perceived risk (92%), self-efficacy (67%), susceptibility (53%) and high malaria knowledge (53%). Overall, miners' care-seeking/treatment ideation score ranged from 0 to 8 with a mean of 4.1. Ideation scores were associated with higher odds of care-seeking for fever (aOR: 1.19; 95% CI 1.04–1.36), getting tested for malaria (aOR: 1.22; 95% CI 1.07–1.38) and lower odds of self-medication (aOR: 0.87; 95% CI 0.77–0.99). Conclusions: A national community case management initiative is using study findings as part of its scale-up, using volunteers to make testing and treatment services more accessible to miners. This is complemented by a multi-channel mass media campaign to improve miners’ ideation. Communication messages focus on increasing miners’ knowledge of malaria transmission and symptoms, encourage positive beliefs about malaria testing and volunteer testers, promote evidence about the effectiveness of testing, and reminders of how quick and easy it is to get a malaria test with the community case management initiative. Study findings also have implications for efforts to eliminate malaria across the Guiana Shield.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Behaviour
  • Care-seeking
  • Guyana
  • Ideation
  • Malaria
  • Treatment


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