Digging for care-seeking behaviour among gold miners in the Guyana hinterland: a qualitative doer non-doer analysis of social and behavioural motivations for malaria testing and treatment

Shirley D. Yan, Jennifer Orkis, Saifra Khan Sohail, Sean Wilson, Trish Ann Davis, J. Douglas Storey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Although Guyana has made significant progress toward malaria control, limited access to malaria testing and treatment services threatens those gains. Mining activities create breeding environments for mosquitoes, and the migrant and mobile mining populations are hard to reach with information and services. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has trained volunteers to test and treat malaria cases in remote regions. However, it remains unclear how miners perceive these testers, the services they provide, or what their malaria care-seeking behaviour is in general. To better address these challenges, Breakthrough ACTION Guyana and MoPH conducted qualitative research from October to November 2018 in Regions 7 and 8 in Guyana. Methods: A total of 109 individuals, 70 miners, 17 other mining camp staff, and 22 other key stakeholders (e.g. community health workers, pharmacists, and regional leadership), participated in semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Results were derived using a framework analysis, with an adjusted doer and non-doer analysis, and organized using the integrated behaviour framework. Results: Miners sought MoPH-approved services because of close geographic proximity to testing services, a preference for public service treatment, and a desire to correctly diagnose and cure malaria rather than just treat its symptoms. Those who chose to initiate self-treatment - using unregulated medications from the private and informal sector - did so out of convenience and the belief that self-treatment had worked before. Miners who completed the full MoPH-approved treatment understood the need to complete the treatment, while those who prematurely stopped treatment did so because of medication side effects and a desire to feel better as soon as possible. Conclusion: Reasons why miners do and do not pursue malaria testing and treatment services are diverse. These results can inform better MoPH programming and new solutions to improve malaria outcomes in Guyana.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbers12936
JournalMalaria journal
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 6 2020

Keywords

  • Care-seeking
  • Gold miner
  • Guyana
  • Malaria
  • Rapid diagnostic tests
  • Social behaviour change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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