Differences between urban and rural contexts in terms of sociodemographic characteristics, geographical features and risk perceptions may lead to disparities in coverage and related outcomes of community-based preventive interventions, such as seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC). This study investigated urban–rural differences in SMC coverage and other programme outcomes, as well as child and caregiver characteristics of target populations in nine implementing states in Nigeria during the 2022 SMC round.
This is a comparative cross-sectional study based on comprehensive end-of-round household surveys conducted in nine states where SMC was delivered in Nigeria in 2022. Data of 11,880 caregiver-child pairs were included in the analysis. Rural-urban differences in SMC outcomes and child and caregiver characteristics were assessed, first by using Pearsons’ chi-square test for independence for categorical variables. Univariate multilevel mixed-effect logistic regression models, with random intercepts for cluster units, were used to quantify the strength of association between location and each SMC coverage and related outcomes.
Significant urban-rural differences were observed in caregivers’ sociodemographic characteristics, such as age, gender, level of education, occupation status and health-seeking behaviour for febrile childhood illnesses. Disparities were also seen in terms of SMC coverage and related outcomes, with lower odds of the receipt of Day 1 dose direct observation of the administration of Day 1 dose by community distributors, receipt of the full three-day course of SMC medicines and receipt of SMC in all cycles of the annual round among children residing in urban areas, compared with those residing in rural areas. Similarly, urban-dwelling caregivers had lower odds of being knowledgeable of SMC and believing in the protective effect of SMC than rural-dwelling caregivers.
Findings highlight observable urban-rural disparities in SMC programme delivery and related outcomes, as well as target population characteristics, underscoring the need for context-specific strategies to ensure optimal delivery of SMC and improve programme implementation outcomes in urban settings.
Published in Malaria Journal
Citation: Malaria Journal, 2024; 23: 4.
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