Evaluation of Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Pregnant Women on Malaria, Intermittent Preventive Treatment and Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria
AbstractMalaria is still a major health problem during pregnancy in Ihiala Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State, Nigeria. Knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) of pregnant women on malaria, intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) and long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were critically evaluated in the area between April and July, 2011. Oral interviews and observations were used to retrieve information from the women on their socio-demographic characteristics, KAP on causes and prevention of malaria, and compliance with IPT and LLINs. Ages of the women ranged between 15 and 49 years. About 60 (10%) of them associated malaria with infected female Anopheles mosquito bites. Despite the high level of awareness on the benefits of LLINs, only 80 (13.3%) slept under them. Reasons for not using LLINs included their scarcity and high cost in the area, difficulty in setting it up, excessive heat generated under it, and preference for the use of mosquito coils. Only 264 (44%) of the women received their first dose of IPT but 21 (3.5%) got the second dose. Paucity of supply, suspicion and fear of possible long-time side effects also resulted in low compliance with IPT. Only 114 (19%) of the women were currently involved with IPT; ironically none of them took in the drugs in the clinics but claimed to do so at home. Public health education on vector control, IPT, use of LLINs, free distribution or subsidy on LLINs and IPT in Ihiala LGA will greatly reduce the malaria situation in the area.
Keywords: KAP, Pregnancy, Malaria, intermittent preventive treatment, insecticide nets and Anopheles mosquito bites
Nigerian Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 33  March 2012, pp. 9-14