Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 172-177

Perception and utilization of insecticide-treated mosquito net among caregivers of children in Abakaliki, Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Abia State Teaching Hospital, Aba, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Christopher Bismarck Eke
Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_64_16

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Background: Malaria contributes significantly to under-5 morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan African countries including Nigeria. The rollback malaria (RBM) initiative and millennium developmental goal 6 are the programs targeted at reduction in malaria burden. The target year here is 2015; it would be needful to determine the impact of these programs on lives of at-risk population. Objectives: To determine caregivers' perception and utilization of insecticide-treated mosquito net (ITN) for their children/wards under 5 years of age. Methods: It was a cross-sectional, descriptive, hospital-based study conducted at Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, between April 1, 2014, and October 31, 2014. A structured questionnaire was used to assess caregivers' perception and utilization of ITN. Relevant information collected from the respondents included awareness of what ITN is and its use, ownership, source and utilization of ITN, and frequency of antimalaria use for febrile episodes. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Windows Program (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) version 20.0 while the level of statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: A total of 410 caregivers were interviewed; 362 (88.3%) were mothers. Three-hundred and eighty-four (93.7%) participants knew that ITN prevents mosquito bite that cause malaria infection, 81.2% (333/410) have at least one ITN in their homes, but only 215 (52.4%) use the ITN every night. Caregivers who used ITN regularly used antimalaria for their under-5 quarterly (34.9%) and rarely (33.9%). A significant relationship existed among socioeconomic class, knowledge of ITN, source of knowledge of ITN, frequency of anti-malaria use, and utilization of ITN. Conclusion: The study observed that awareness and ownership of ITN are high among study participants, but its utilization was suboptimal compared to RBM target for 2010 (80.0%). Health education and free distribution of ITNs should be further strengthened particularly among mothers of childbearing age and younger children.

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