Country Results

The Sierra Leone Malaria Behavior Survey was fielded between September and October 2019 by the Breakthrough ACTION project in collaboration with the National Malaria Control Program, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and several other local organizations. Survey results were analyzed in coordination with the National Malaria Control Program and released in 2020. Independent of the MBS, complementary qualitative research was conducted in the same year and districts to explore perceptions, knowledge, and behaviors for malaria prevention, diagnosis, and case management among facility-based health workers and patients. From this experience, Breakthrough ACTION developed guidelines for how, when, and why to conduct qualitative research to complement the Malaria Behavior Survey results.

Study Zones

Survey Zones and Respondents

Individual respondents

Key Behavioral Determinants at a Glance


of caregivers sought care from a qualified health provider for febrile children under 5 the same day or next

  • Self-efficacy: Those caregivers with self-efficacy—the belief that they were able to bring their febrile children promptly to the health facility—were 39 times more likely to bring their febrile children promptly to the health facility.

  • Positive attitudes: Those with positive attitudes about prompt care-seeking were four times more likely to have brought their febrile child for proper malaria diagnosis and treatment.


of children under five slept under an insecticide-treated net (ITN) the previous night

  • Social norm: People who perceived mosquito net use as a norm were twice as likely to use an ITN every night.

  • Knowledge: 95% of people knew at least one method to prevent nets from tearing or getting holes, such as tying up the net daily while not in use or handling the net with care.


of pregnant women received 3+ doses of IPTp

  • Self-efficacy: Eight in ten women believed that they could go for an ANC consultation as soon as they suspect that they are pregnant and convince their spouse or partner to accompany them.

  • Positive attitudes: Over 90% of women and men believed the medicine given to pregnant women to prevent malaria keeps the mother healthy and works to protect the unborn baby from the effects of malaria.


Results Brief


2018 Results Brief

Survey Report


Survey Report



2018 Questionnaires

Qualitative Report


Qualitative Report

MBS datasets can be downloaded from the USAID Development Data Library (DDL). External links are added to this site as datasets are made available.