Utilization of insecticide treated nets among pregnant women and mothers with under five children in Ikot Omin Community, Calabar, Nigeria
Malaria is mostly endemic in tropical environments and has caused several still births and deaths particularly among children. Effective control of malaria infection reduces maternal and infant morbidity and mortality rate in pregnant women and children (0-5yrs). A promising strategy has been the utilization of insecticide treated nets among these groups of persons. A mixed method study was carried out in Ikot Omin community in Cross River State, Nigeria to authenticate the effectiveness of the net utilization. Four specific objectives were developed to guide the study. Data were elicited from 225 respondents through the use of structured questionnaires and focus group discussions. The quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using SPSS 16.0 and thematic analysis methods respectively. The results showed that the prevalent harsh and dry weather condition was the major barrier to utilization of ITN in the community. A focused communication strategy to address this challenge has been suggested. The possibility of provision of steady light supply through the use of solar power in the homes by those who can afford it can be explored as a remedy for promoting consistent use of ITN by pregnant women and under five children in this community.
Keywords: Insecticide treated nets, pregnant women, mothers, Ikot Omin, Nigeria