Journal Article High Mobility and Low Use of Malaria Preventive Measures Among the Jarai Male Youth Along the Cambodia–Vietnam Border

Gryseels, Charlotte  ,  Peeters Grietens, Koen  ,  Dierickx, Susan  ,  Xuan, Xa Nguyen  ,  Uk, Sambunny  ,  Bannister-Tyrrell, Melanie  ,  Trienekens, Suzan  ,  Ribera, Joan Muela  ,  Hausmann-Muela, Susanna  ,  Gerrets, René  ,  D'Alessandro, Umberto  ,  Sochantha, Tho  ,  Coosemans, Marc  ,  Erhart, Annette

93 ( 4 )  , pp.810 - 818 , 2015-08-17 , American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
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.

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