L’opinion de la population concernée par le projet est essentielle. Cette étude, menée par une chercheuse indépendante de l’Université de Montréal, présente la perception du projet Malakit par les personnes travaillant sur les sites d’orpaillage, ainsi que les attentes et facteurs d’amélioration.

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Malaria is endemic in French Guiana, in particular, where illegal gold mining activities take place. Gold miners travel from Brazil to remote camps in the Guiana forest to carry out mining activities, exposing themselves to the presumed contamination area. This article presents the results of a qualitative case study of the Malakit project, an intervention where health facilitators offer appropriate training and distribution of self-diagnosis and self-treatment kits to manage an episode of malaria at resting sites on the French Guiana borders.

The objectives were: (i) Determine the contextual elements influencing the use of Malakit; (ii) Understand the way gold miners perceive Malakit; (iii) Identify the elements that are favorable and unfavorable to the use of Malakit; (iv4) Identify what can be improved in the project. The data were collected using three methods: on-site observation, semi-structured individual interviews (n = 26), and group interviews (n = 2).

The results indicate that Malakit responds to the need for treatment and facilitates access to care. Gold miners say they trust the facilitators and receive accurate explanations, the kit is easy to use and carry, and explanations given are sufficient. Nonetheless, the results lead us to believe that contextual elements influence exposure to numerous risk factors and that malaria among gold miners working illegally in French Guiana is a question of social inequalities in health. Thus, malaria intervention practices such as Malakit cannot be carried out without considering the complexity generated by social inequalities in health.