Perceptions on the use of insecticide treated nets in parts of the Imo River Basin, Nigeria: Implications for preventing malaria in pregnancy

  • UM Chukwuocha
  • INS Dozie
  • COE Onwuliri
  • CN Ukaga
  • BEB Nwoke
  • BO Nwankwo
  • EA Nwoke
  • JC Nwaokoro
  • KS Nwoga
  • OG Udujih
  • CC Iwuala
  • ET Ohaji
  • OM Morakinyo
  • BC Adindu
Keywords: Malaria, Insecticide Treated Nets, Mothers, Pregnancy, Prevention, Perceptions

Abstract

This study aimed at assessing perceptions on use of ITNs in parts of the Imo River Basin, Nigeria and its implications in preventing malaria in pregnancy. Data was collected using focus group discussions, key informant interviews and structured questionnaires. Results showed high awareness on the benefits of ITNs. Factors affecting use of ITNs included its high cost, perceptions of chemicals used to treat them as having dangerous effects on pregnancy, low utilization of antenatal care, husband’s lack of interest in malaria prevention and perceptions that adolescent girls are at low risk of getting malaria. The implications of these findings include demystifying the negative perceptions on the chemicals used for net treatment and subsidizing the cost of ITNs to increase access.
These findings provide important lessons for malaria programmes that aim at increasing access to ITNs by pregnant women in developing countries

(Afr J Reprod Health 2010; 14[1]:117-128).

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