The Effect of Illiteracy on the Prevalence of Malaria in Yekepa, Liberia: A Descriptive Study

The Effect of Illiteracy on the Prevalence of Malaria in Yekepa, Liberia: A Descriptive Study

Author: 
Nazarene E. Tubman
Program of study: 
D.H.A.
Abstract: 
The goal of this descriptive research study was to glean information from literate and illiterate participants in Yekepa, Liberia, as they relate to the effects of illiteracy on the prevalence of malaria. The investigation was driven by six interview questions. Data were collected from 25 literate and 28 illiterate participants who had experiences with Malaria. Data collection transpired in a community center in Yekepa. The findings of the study showed that both the literate and illiterate populations have some understanding of malaria, its effects, treatment, cure, and possible eradication. The illiterate population did not seem to apply their knowledge to the prevention and treatment of the disease, while the literate population did. The study was able to glean three emergent themes about why Malaria is prevalent. The emergent themes were (a) confusion in approaches to prevention, (b) need for greater awareness, and (c) the perception that government is responsible for eradication of Malaria. The research study was not without limitations, and further research on the topic was recommended. Major limitations could have been because of the diversity in educational level of the participants and the participants giving answers they assumed the researcher was seeking. With further research exploring why the illiterate populate did not seek treatment with the knowledge that they have, more data could be collected and analyzed that may yield clearer insight.
Dedication: 
I would like to dedicate this dissertation to my family. Without their love, support, and encouragement, I would not have been able to complete this dissertation. My daughter, Nazarene, encouraged me to begin my doctoral journey when I indicated that I was becoming bored and was interested in this great journey. She has been a great motivator. To my parents who have supported me along the way, I am grateful. My mother, Bettie Brewer, co-parented my kids when she was needed. My father, J. Hilary Brewer (deceased), I imagine how proud he would have been. He showed so much joy in all of my little accomplishments along the way. My children Natasha, Bill, Naz, Ben, and Blaise, I hope this shows you that once you set your mind to a task, you can do it. To Ben, for understanding that putting my glasses on and looking serious meant he had to leave me alone for a while. Bill, you are my inspiration. My niece Tilnise, thanks for the encouragement. My siblings who encouraged me and were always there for me, you were instrumental in getting me to this point also. Last, but certainly not the least, my grandchildren Jahnagee and Leila and all grandchildren who will follow--this is dedicated to you with love. To God be the glory!
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to acknowledge Dr. Nora Yeager, who was my initial chair, for all the knowledge imparted to me during the initial phases of my dissertation. Unfortunately, she had to withdraw for personal reasons. To my committee members, Dr. Ayodele Cole Benson and Dr. Larry Olanrewaju, I thank each of you for your input and support. Dr. Benson asked some tough questions that encouraged me to think harder. I appreciate your quick responses to my queries. I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Norma J. Turner, my second chair, who had to withdraw from chairing during my process. Thanks for your guidance. I am very grateful to Dr. Bottomley who accepted to chair my committee with just a few weeks prior to my QRF. Your input has been invaluable and has carried me over the threshold. I would like to thank my son William V. S. Tubman, III and my friend Martha Sawyerr for all the help given during the interviews and data collection. Your support was invaluable. I acknowledge all of my professors who divulged knowledge to me along my doctoral journey.