DEMOGRAPHIC AND SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS INFLUENCING MALARIA INCIDENCE IN CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE, NIGERIA
Although the physical environment provides the primary conditions for the breeding of malaria vectors, the socio-demographic environment also plays a significant role in the incidence of the disease. Nevertheless, relatively few multivariate studies have been carried to identify individual-level factors most influencing malaria in high risk areas. This study sets out to examine the demographic and socioeconomic factors of malaria incidence in Calabar, Cross River State. A set of 300 copies of questionnaire designed for the study were administered on household heads. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was performed on a set of socioeconomic data to identify significant and major demographic/socioeconomic variables that predispose people to malaria. The PCA results identified type of accommodation (0.816), number of children (0.745), marital status (0.761) and occupation (-0.883) as the main socioeconomic variables that predispose people to malaria in the study area. These components accounted for 68.2% of total variance in the original data set. The study recommended that Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) and malaria vaccines should be made easily accessible to members of households alongside with environmental hygiene in order to reduce the incidence of malaria in the area.