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Factors influencing the utilisation of insecticide treated nets and prevalence of malaria among children under five years

MO Mudenyo
H Nobuyuki


Objective: To determine factors influencing the use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) in the prevention of Malaria to children under five years.
Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study
Setting: Kiambu District, Central Province of Kenya.
Results: One hundred and thirty nine (50.7%) attained primary education. Two hundred and seventy two (99.3%) were of Christian faith. One hundred and sixty four (59.8%) didn’t have formal employment. Two hundred and fourty three (88.7%) were married. One hundred forty two (51.8%) were house wives. Two hundred and fourty seven (65.0%) used ITNs. Two hundred and fourty one (88.0%) had not received ITN from government. One hundred and eighty three (66.8%) had ITN in households. One hundred and twenty eight (46.7%) indicated price of ITN was affordable. Two hundred and fourty eight (90.5%) knew that Malaria is transmitted by Mosquito. One hundred and fourty five (52.9%) heard about ITN from Health Workers. Two hundred and fifty six (93.4%) liked using ITN. One hundred and ninten (43.4%) children suffered malaria in previous six month. One hundred and seventy four (63.5%) had their treatment booklet. One hundred and sixty seven (60.9%) had ITN in homestead. Two hundred and fourty one (88.0%) had health facility near homestead. Health facility recorded 1062 in - patient Malaria cases in 2006, 1343 in 2007 and 866 in 2008. Case fatality Rate in 2008 was 12.5%. Sixteen (5.8%) kept chemoprophylaxis drugs. Variables significant with ITN utilisation were; mother’s χ2 (P = 0.007), income (P = 0.001), having heard of ITN (P = 0.001), free ITN (P = 0.001), ITN availability (P = 0.001), ITN affordability, Malaria prevention and liking to use ITN. Insignificant variable with utilisation include; Mother’s education (P = 0.112), marital status (P = 0.303), religion (P = 0.616), malaria transmission (P = 0.385) and Malaria infection (P = 0.141).
Conclusion: Mothers were young, married and educated. Almost all were Christians. They knew that Malaria was transmitted by Mosquito and utilisation was high. Government of Kenya did not provide ITN to many respondents. ITN was bought because the price was affordable. Majority had ITN in their households. Some children had suffered malaria. Majority indicated it was important for the child to sleep under ITN.

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