Original Research

Community participation in malaria control strategy of intersect oral collaboration in Ghana: Myth or reality?

Nicodemus O. Owusu
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 6, No 1 | a467 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v6i1.467 | © 2014 Nicodemus O. Owusu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 June 2012 | Published: 01 August 2014

About the author(s)

Nicodemus O. Owusu, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Southampton, United Kingdom


Background: For many years, malaria has been one of the main health concerns of the government of Ghana. The government has recently implemented a control strategy which will ensure the inclusion of the community members who were previously excluded from the process. Until now, however, scientific study on this strategy has been scanty.

Objectives: The objectives were to investigate the level at which communities have been allowed to participate and to understand whether the idea of community participation in malaria control strategy is a myth or a reality.

Methods: Data were collected in the rural district of Ahafo-Ano South in the Ashanti region of Ghana. An exploratory qualitative approach was employed in order to ascertain the opinions of the local health officials and community members. The level of participation was measured using the framework of Arnstein’s ‘ladder’ of participation, as developed in 1969.

Results: Evidence showed that the level of community participation was only tokenistic. Communities were only informed and/or consulted after decisions had been made, but the real engagement and negotiations were absent. Communities thus had limited opportunities to air their views in the planning process.

Conclusion: This article has revealed that the government’s vision of ensuring community participation in the malaria control policy-making process can be said to be a myth rather than a reality.


Malaria; Community; Intersectoral collaboration; Participation; Strategy


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