Utilization of insecticide treated nets among pregnant women in Enugu, South Eastern Nigeria
Background: The goal of roll back malaria partnership is to achieve universal coverage for all populations at risk using appropriate interventions for prevention and case management.
Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and other anti-vector measures among pregnant women in an area hyper-endemic for malaria.
Materials and Methods: Questionnaires were administered to a cross-section of 832 consecutive pregnant women attending antenatal care in three hospitals in Enugu, Nigeria that have high client flow for maternity services. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics by means of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16. P-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The mean age of the women was 33.2 ± 2.9 (range: 15-45) years. Three hundred and fifty nine (43.1%) women owned insecticide treated nets (ITNs), however 325(90.5%) slept under the nets during the index pregnancies; equivalent to 39.1% utilization rate among the 832 women studied. Out of the 325 (39.1%) women that used ITNs; 236 (28.4%) used it singly, while 89 (10.7%) used it in combination with other anti-vector measures. Educational status and social class of the women had strong association with the use of ITNs (P < 0.0001). Women who used ITNs were significantly less likely to have acute malaria, anaemia and babies with low birth weight than women who did not use ITNs (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The use of ITNs is poor among pregnant women in Enugu, but associated with favorable maternal and feto-neonatal outcome. Future measures to increase its use should consider improvement in educational level and social class of our women.
Key words: Insecticide treated nets, Malaria, Nigeria, pregnancy