Utilisation Of Insecticide-Treated Net During Pregnancy In Delta State: A Survey Of Recently Delivered Mothers
Context: The World Health Organisation recommends a package of interventions for controlling malaria in pregnancy. This includes, use of insecticide-treated nets (ITN); intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) and effective case management. The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) programme had set a target of having 80% of all pregnant women sleep under ITN by the year 2010.
Objectives: This study aimed at assessing the utilisation of ITN during pregnancy in Delta State of Nigeria and to determine associated factors affecting its utilisation.
Methods: A questionnaire based cross section descriptive study of immediate post partum mothers that delivered at the Central Hospital, Warri and the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba.
Results: A total of 537 mothers were surveyed during the study period. Two hundred and forty-seven mothers (46%) had ITNs at home. The main sources of acquisition were; through purchase 58.2%; given free from health centres 28.8% and gift from family members (13.0%). One hundred and fifty-five mothers (28.9%) admitted having slept under an ITN in the index pregnancy, however only 42 mothers (7.8%) consistently slept under an ITN throughout the pregnancy. Factors associated with use of ITN include nulliparity, mother's and husband's educational status. However, knowledge that malaria is harmful to the mother and her unborn child was not significantly associated with use of ITN.
Conclusion: A major identified challenge is accessibility and affordability of ITN by pregnant women. ITNs should be distributed free to pregnant women. More importantly, innovative strategies have to be developed to close the gap between acquisition of ITNs and its consistent utilisation.
Keywords: Insecticide treated nets, pregnant women, Delta state