Caregivers’ utilisation of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets for under-five children at two selected clinics in Petauke district, Eastern province, Zambia 2022.

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Banda, Besnart J
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The University of Zambia
Background: Malaria can be prevented if LLITNs are used appropriately for under-five children. Unfortunately, studies show that there is an increased prevalence of malaria in under-five children despite the free mass distribution of LLITNs to their caregivers. Malaria if left untreated leads to increased morbidity and mortality rate among under-five children. There has been mass distribution of LLITNs in Zambia so that every under-five child should be sleeping under an LLITN. About 228,725 LLITNs were distributed throughout Petauke district in 2014. However, the magnitude of malaria cases among under-five children at the study sites continued to increase by 17.7% between 2016 and 2019 (PDMHIS, 2019). The study aimed at investigating factors that influence utilisation of LLITNs among caregivers of under-five children at two selected clinics. Methods and Materials: An analytical cross-sectional study design was used and 328 study respondents from two clinics were sampled. Systematic random sampling was used to select the study respondents. Data collection was done using a semi-structured questionnaire. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23was used to process and analyse data. Chi-square test and multivariable logistic regression were used to determine the relationship among variables. Results: The study results showed that more than three quarters (75.9% n = 249) of the respondents used LLITNs for their under-five children while less than a quarter (24.1% n = 79) did not. The study also revealed that knowledge on LLITN, attitude towards LLITN use and marital status were significantly (P<0.001) associated with LLITNs use. Probable interventions included increasing health education messages as an important activity, which should be rendered to all caregivers of under-five children. Conclusion and recommendation: The study results revealed that there is a significant association between knowledge, attitude towards LLITNs, and utilisation of LLITNs among caregivers of under-five children. In addition, marital status was also significantly associated with utilisation of LLITNs. The use of LLITN is not the only strategy of eliminating malaria according to the goal of MoH but must be used in combination with other strategies such as IEC. Keywords: Utilisation, Knowledge, Attitude, Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Net, Caregivers.
Malaria. , Malaria--Zambia--Prevention. , Malaria--Prevention. , Malaria--prevention & control. , Insecticide treated net.