Family variables influencing the use of insecticide treated nets among under-five children treated for malaria in a rural hospital in South-Eastern Nigeria

  • GU Iloh
  • AN Amadi
  • CE Obikwu

Abstract

Background:  Effective reduction of malaria burden among under-five children depends to a large extent on family biosocial factors. The awareness of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) is increasing in Nigeria but a large gap remains between being aware of and using them by families of under-five children.
Aim: To determine family variables influencing the use of insecticide treated nets among under-five children treated for malaria in a rural hospital in South-Eastern Nigeria.
Methods: A descriptive hospital-based study carried out on 415 mothers of under-five children from June 2008 to June 2010. The mothers were interviewed using a pretested, structured researcher administered questionnaire which elicited information on family demographic variables, inter-spousal discussion, communication, concurrence and participation on the use of ITNs. The period of usage was assessed in the previous six months and graded using a scoring system of 0-4. Operationally, scores of 1- 4 indicated usage while score of 0 meant non-use. Reasons for non-utilization were documented.
Results: The ITNs use rate was 53.0%. Family variables that significantly influenced utilization were parental secondary education and above (mother: p=0.009; father: p=0.001), monogamy (p=0.024), family size of 1-4 (p=0.016), spouse living together (p=0.001), parental occupation (mother: p=0.003; father: p=0.04), inter-spousal discussion (p=0.001), communication (p=0.001), concurrence (p=0.000) and participation (p=0.000). The most common reason for non-use was inconvenience   (p=0.04).
Conclusion: ITNs use rate was marginally good. Specifically, user rate was significantly influenced by some family variables. Families of under-five should be the focus of intensive health promotion campaign on ITNs.

Keywords: Malaria, Under five, Family variables, ITNs-use, Hospital, Rural,  Nigeria
 
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