Knowledge and Use of Insecticide Treated Nets Among Pregnant Women in Enugu Urban
Background: Malaria in pregnancy has severe negative effects on maternal health and birth outcomes. Avoiding contact with mosquitoes by use of insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITNs) can prevent or reduce disease burden. A recent synthesis of data from national malaria control programmes has shown that levels of knowledge and utilization of ITNs by pregnant women in many sub-Saharan African countries remain far below national and global strategic targets.
Objective: To investigate the level of knowledge and use of ITNs in prevention and control of malaria among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in health facilities in Enugu metropolis.
Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive survey of 350 pregnant women drawn from three Local Government Areas in Enugu metropolis participated in the study. Descriptive statistics, Logistic regression and Spearman’s correlation were used for data analyses.
Results: The level of awareness of ITNs among female urban dwellers in Enugu is high (98.3%), with radio and television (178; 50.9%) being the main sources of information. The predominant sources of these nets are health centres (281; 74.6%) and markets (35; 10%). Most women only used the nets when they wish to sleep at night (213; 60.9%) and the nets were only washed when dirty (62; 18.4%). Consistent use of nets was observed among most women (239; 68.3%) and usually when there was increased perceived risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Age, educational level, marital status and number of children were determinants of ITN use (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Majority of the pregnant women totaling 316 (90%) had adequate knowledge of use of ITNs for malaria prevention and control. Knowledge also translated to improved use of ITNs among the respondents. The findings also revealed that knowledge of ITN use and social factors (age, education, ethnicity, marital status and number of children) had significant influences on the use of ITNs.
Key Words: Knowledge, Utilization, Insecticide treated nets, Pregnant women, South-East Nigeria