Prevalence and household factors associated with use of insectcide treated nets in Luweero district.
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BACKGROUND: Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) are widely recommended as a personal protective measure and have been promoted in uganda since the early 1990s. There is however limited understanding among the healthcare providers and health product market promoters of the factors at household level affecting utilisation especially in a population that has no culture of bed net use. This study highlights some of the issues at stake forthe potential ITN users. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed at determining the prevalence of ITN utilisation and the factors influencing use or non-use at the household level. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study employing quantitative and qualitative investigative methods, which was carried out in a rural population of Butuntumula sub-couty in Luweero district. Field activities were undertaken during the months of january to march 2002. Five hundered eighty two households randomly selected from 49 villages were studied by use of personla questionnaires, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and observations. RESULTS: The major aim of analysis was to describe characteristics of ITN users and non users and to determine any differences in important characteristics between the two groups. Prevalence of ITN use is 8% with significant variations between parishes. Poor availability and accessibility, Lack of information and economic constraints were major issues raised in the study. Knowledge, perception, Level of income and education had a significant influence on ITN use. CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of ITN use is disapointingly low though better than what is reported in neighbouring kenya and Tanzania. Measures for increased utilisation should be undertaken through intenified health education about ITNs using existing information outlets such as the Tele-centres of which Luwero is s beneficiary. The current cost of ITNs is deterrent to their increased utilisation. RECOMMENDATIONS: Additional avenues for information dissemination should be considered to augment existing ones in order to encourage greater ITN use. Public-provate partnerships should be encouraged to increase ITN availability and accessibility. Subsidies on ITNs should be considered. Other vector control measures like insecticide treated curtains and residual indoor aprating should be looked at and if possible promoted alongside ITNs.