Background: In tropical settings, malaria education at school is potentially useful, but textbook content related to malaria education has so far received little attention. This study aimed to examine whether school textbooks contain sufficient knowledge and skills to help children in primary and lower secondary schools and their family members to cope with malaria. Methodology/Principal Findings: This was a descriptive, cross-country study. We collected textbooks that were used by children in grades one to nine from nine countries endemic for malaria: Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Niger, Benin, and Ghana. Two reviewers per country identified descriptions about malaria by seeking the term "malaria" or a local word that corresponds to malaria in languages other than English. The authors categorized the identified descriptions according to the content of the descriptions. Additionally, the authors examined whether the identified contents addressed life skill messages. Of a total of 474 textbooks collected, 35 contained descriptions about malaria. The most commonly included content was transmission mode/vector (77.1%), followed by preventive measures (60.0%), epidemiology (57.1%), cause/agent (54.3%), signs/symptoms (37.1%) and treatment (22.9%). Treatment-related content was not included in any textbooks from four countries and textbooks failed to recommend the use of insecticide-treated bed nets in five countries. Very few textbooks included content that facilitated prompt treatment, protection of risk groups, and use of recommended therapy. Conclusion/Significance: Textbooks rarely included knowledge and skills that are crucial to protect schoolchildren and their families from malaria. This study identified the need for improvement to textbook contents regarding malaria.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)