Ownership and Utilization of Insecticide Treated Nets among Primary School Children Following Universal Distribution of Insecticide Treated Nets in Kasipul, Homa-Bay County, Kenya

Robert Omondi, Lucy Kamau

Abstract


Insecticide treated nets (ITNs) have become the preferred vector control tool for malaria.  Studies indicate that even after universal net distribution, primary school children were significantly less likely to use ITNs compared to other age groups. The objective of this study was to examine the ownership and utilization of ITNs among primary school children living in Kasipul, one year after mass distribution of ITNs in Kasipul, Homa-Bay County. A cross-sectional study of 398 primary school pupils was conducted in Kasipul. Data on insecticide net use was collected using a questionnaire. The study established that only 51.0 % of the study population owned ITN, which is below the 80% target set by the Kenya Ministry of Health. Among 203 pupils who reported having ITN at home, 189 (93.1%) obtained them free from the government during 2014, mass distribution campaign. ITNs use among pupils in the area increased from 33% in 2015 to 75% in 2016. Age significantly influenced net ownership (χ2=7.549, df =3, p=0.054). The difference in ITNs ownership per school was significant (χ2=37.191, DF =8, p =0.000), indicating that net distribution was not done uniformly within Kasipul. The study concludes that a relatively high ITNs use in this survey, despite moderate coverage (51%) of nets and indicates an overall desire to deploy the nets by the pupils when they are available. Lack of educational campaigns accompanying universal net distributions was evident as 20.7% of net were not in regular use.


Keywords


Insecticide treated nets; Malaria; School Children; Homa-Bay.

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