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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Malaria Journal 1/2017

Factors influencing the ownership and utilization of long-lasting insecticidal nets for malaria prevention in Ethiopia

Malaria Journal > Ausgabe 1/2017
Admasu Tassew, Richard Hopkins, Wakgari Deressa



Utilization of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) is regarded as key malaria prevention and control strategy. However, studies have reported a large gap in terms of both ownership and utilization particularly in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). With continual efforts to improve the use of LLIN and to progress malaria elimination, examining the factors influencing the ownership and usage of LLIN is of high importance. Therefore, the current study was conducted to examine the level of ownership and use of LLIN along with identification of associated factors at household level.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in Mirab Abaya District, Southern Ethiopia in June and July 2014. A total of 540 households, with an estimated 2690 members, were selected in four kebeles of the district known to have high incidence of malaria. Trained data collectors interviewed household heads to collect information on the knowledge, ownership and utilization of LLINs, which was complemented by direct observation on the conditions and use of the nets through house-to-house visit. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to determine factors associated to LLIN use.


Of 540 households intended to be included in the survey, 507 responded to the study (94.24% response rate), covering the homes of 2759 people. More than 58% of the households had family size >5 (the regional average), and 60.2% of them had at least one child below the age of 5 years. The ownership of at least one LLIN among households surveyed was 89.9%, and using at least one LLIN during the night prior to the survey among net owners was 85.1% (n = 456). Only 36.7% (186) mentioned at least as the mean of correct scores of all participants for 14 possible malaria symptoms and 32.7% (166) knew at least as the mean of correct scores of all participants for possible preventive methods. Over 30% of nets owned by the households were out of use. After controlling for confounding factors, having two or more sleeping places (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.58, 95% CI 1.17, 5.73), knowledge that LLIN prevents malaria (aOR = 2.51, 95% CI 1.17, 5.37), the presence of hanging bed nets (aOR = 19.24, 95% CI 9.24, 40.07) and walls of the house plastered or painted >12 months ago (aOR = 0.09, 95% CI 0.01, 0.71) were important predictors of LLIN utilization.


This study found a higher proportion of LLIN ownership and utilization by households than had previously been found in similar studies in Ethiopia, and in many studies in SSA. However, poor knowledge of the transmission mechanisms and the symptoms of malaria, and vector control measures to prevent malaria were evident. Moderate proportions of nets were found to be out of use or in poor repair. Efforts should be in place to maintain the current rate of utilization of LLIN in the district and improve on the identified gaps in order to support the elimination of malaria.
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