Household possession, use and non-use of treated or untreated mosquito nets in two ecologically diverse regions of Nigeria - Niger Delta and Sahel Savannah

Bamgboye M. Afolabi et al | 19 Feb 2009
Malaria Journal
Background

Current use of treated mosquito nets for the prevention of malaria falls short of what is expected in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), though research within the continent has indicated that the use of these commodities can reduce malaria morbidity by 50% and malaria mortality by 20%. Governments in sub-Sahara Africa are investing substantially in scaling-up treated mosquito net coverage for impact. However, certain significant factors still prevent the use of the treated mosquito nets, even among those who possess them. This survey examines household ownership as well as use and non-use of treated mosquito nets in Sahel Savannah and Niger Delta regions of Nigeria. Methodology This survey employed cross-sectional survey to collect data from households on coverage and use of mosquito nets, whether treated or not. Fever episodes in previous two weeks among children under the age of five were also recorded. The study took place in August 1 - 14 2007, just five months after the March distribution of treated mosquito nets, coinciding with the second raining period of the year and a time of high malaria transmission during the wet season. EPI INFO version 2003 was used in data analysis.

Results

The survey covered 439 households with 2,521 persons including 739 under-fives, 585 women in reproductive age and 78 pregnant women in Niger Delta Region and Sahel Savannah Region. Of the 439 HHs, 232 had any mosquito nets. Significantly higher proportion of households in the Niger Delta Region had any treated or untreated mosquito nets than those in the Sahel Savannah Region. In the Niger Delta Region, the proportion of under-fives that had slept under treated nets the night before the survey exceeded those that slept under treated nets in the Sahel Savannah Region. Children under the age of five years in the Niger Delta Region were four times more likely to sleep under treated nets than those in the Sahel Savannah Region.

Conclusion

This study found that despite the fact that treated nets were distributed widely across Nigeria, the use of this commodity was still very low in the Sahel Savanna region. Future campaigns should include more purposeful social and health education on the importance and advantages of the use of treated nets to save lives in the Sahel Savannah region of Nigeria.

Full article available at http://www.malariajournal.com/content/8/1/30