Factors associated to bed net use in Cameroon: a retrospective study in Mfou health district in the Centre Region
Introduction: Insecticide treated net remains a tool of choice for malaria prevention in Cameroon. However, data suggests that its use by the
population, especially vulnerable groups remains low. Moreover, there is a paucity of information about factors influencing its use. We sought out
to identify factors associated with net use in Mfou health district, prior to distribution of long lasting insecticides treated nets (LLINs) in households.
Methods: A two-stage cluster random sampling was conducted in 4 health areas with an average of 13 villages each. A total of 541 households
were selected and heads interviewed using a structured household questionnaire. Data collected were entered into a database and multivariate logistic regression analyses of the association between net use and explanatory factors were performed using SPSS.
Results: Net possession and use were respectively, 59.7 and 42.6%; thus, 2 out of 5 people who spent the previous night in households, slept under a net. Factors associated with net use included: net density.0.5 (OR=8.88, 95% CI: 6.24-12.64), age.5 years (OR=0.37, 95%CI: 0.28-0.47), secondary education (OR=1.41, 95% CI: 1.11-1.80) compared to primary/no education, parent status (OR=3.32, 95% CI: 2.31-4.76), house construction (OR=1.37, 95% CI: 1.10-1.71) and environment characteristics (OR=1.46, 95% CI: 1.18-1.80).
Conclusion: These data suggest that a universal coverage with one LLIN for two people should be achieved in households. Then, malaria health education should be conducted to re-enforce net use among school-aged children and adolescents, as well as older household members. Moreover, management of environment and improvement in houses construction are necessary.
Key words: Malaria, factors, insecticides treated nets, health district, Cameroon