Parents' perception on use of insecticide-treated bed net in Port Harcourt

  • BA Alex-Hart
  • AI Frank-Briggs

Abstract

Background: Insecticide treated bed nets (ITN) are protective against malaria, but they are poorly utilized. The utilization of the nets, especially by the under fives, will depend on their caregivers' awareness of the net and their perception of its usefulness. The study therefore aims to evaluate awareness and utilization of ITN . 
Methods: This was a descriptive hospital-based study. It involved the distribution of 15-itemed questionnaires to 212 parents (with at least one under five aged child), who brought their children to the Paediatrics outpatient clinic of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. Questions asked covered: the awareness of ITN, the number of ITN owned by each participant and the number of under fives who slept under ITN the night preceding the interview.
Results:  A total of 212 parents participated in this study. Male to female ratio was 1:4. One hundred and eighty nine (89.2%) participants had heard of ITN. The two most common advantages opined by the participants were that it prevents malaria (42.0%) and mosquito bite (38.2%). The commonest identified side effects was that it causes heat (45.8%) and 113(53.3%) participants owned at least one ITN. Only 45 (21.2%) participants said their under fives slept under ITN on the night preceding the interview.
Conclusion: There is a fair awareness of the use of ITNs for malaria control, however there is poor utilization of the nets by the under five aged children in Port Harcourt.

Keywords: Insecticide treated bednets, Mothers' perception, Under fives

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eISSN: 0795-3038