Community engagement approaches for malaria prevention, control and elimination: a scoping review

Kiran Raj Awasthi*, Jonine Jancey, Archie C A Clements, Rajni Rai, Justine Elizabeth Leavy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Introduction: Globally malaria programmes have adopted approaches to community engagement (ACE) to design and deliver malaria interventions. This scoping review aimed to understand, map, and synthesise intervention activities guided by ACE and implemented by countries worldwide for the prevention, control and elimination of malaria. Methods: Three databases (Web of Science, Proquest, and Medline) were searched for peer-reviewed, primary studies, published in English between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2022. Advanced Google was used to search for grey literature. The five levels of the International Association for Public Participation were used to categorise ACE - (1) Inform, (2) Consult, (3) involve, (4) Collaborate, and (5) Co-lead. Intervention activities were categorised as health education (HE), and/or health services (HS), and/or environmental management (EM). Outcomes were collected as knowledge, attitude, behaviour, help-seeking, health and HS and environment. Enablers and barriers were identified. Malaria intervention phases were categorised as (1) prevention (P), or (2) control (C), or (3) prevention and control (PC) or prevention, control and elimination (PCE). Results: Seventy-five studies were included in the review. Based on ACE levels, most studies were at the inform (n=37) and involve (n=26) level. HE (n=66) and HS (n=43) were the common intervention activities. HE informed communities about malaria, its prevention and vector control. EM activities were effective when complemented by HE. Community-based HS using locally recruited health workers was well-accepted by the community. Involvement of local leaders and collaboration with local stakeholders can be enablers for malaria intervention activities. Conclusion: Involving local leaders and community groups in all stages of malaria prevention programmes is vital for successful interventions. Key elements of successful ACE, that is, consult, collaborate, and co-lead were under-represented in the literature and require attention. National programes must consult and collaborate with community stakeholders to develop ownership of the interventions and eventually co-lead them.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere081982.
Number of pages18
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024


  • community engagement
  • epidemiology
  • malaria
  • control
  • prevention
  • Intervention
  • elimination


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