Factors associated with utilization of insecticide treated nets among pregnant women in Lyantonde district, Uganda.
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INTRODUCTION: Malaria is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Lyantonde district, especially among children aged less than 5 years and pregnant women. Mlaria accounts for 25% of all deaths and make up to 58% of out-patients visits (DDHS Lyantonde, 2007). The Uganda ministry of health promotes use of ITNs among pregnant women as a strategy to prevent malaria. This study aimed at establishing the coverage of ITNs and factors associated with ITN utilization among pregnant women in Lyantonde district, south western Uganda. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A Cross sectional study among pregnant women was undertaken using both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. A total of 267 participants were selected using simple random sampling. Data were collected usinga semi-structured questionnaire, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Proportions of ITN use and factors associated with it were determined and adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by multivariable logistic regression models, using STATA software. Qualitative data was analyzed manually using a master sheet. RESULTS: A total of 267 pregnant women were enrolled in the study. The study established that 74% of all pregnant women were using insecticide treated nets. The coverage if ITNs use was high though this was not evenly distributed across social and economic status brackets. The factors that were associated with utilization of ITNs were; being married (OR=2.99; 95%C1 1.39-6.43) and higher income (OR=2.79; 95%C1 1.35-5.75). The level of awareness among pregnant women was low especially on the guidelines for use and other malaria prevention methods. CONCLUSION: The study established that use of ITNs among pregnant women in Lyantonde was high. The factors associated with use of ITNs include marital status and income. No significant associations were observed for other social economic and demographic variables. RECOMMENDATIONS: The study recommends that the district may consider reviewing the ITN distribution strategy with emphasis on reaching out the less educated, poor and single women. Policy makers may consider addressing the malaria problem from a wider perspective by addressing underlying factors to ITNs utilization. KEY WORDS: Insectcide treated nets (ITNs), utilization of ITNs, Pregnant women.