The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
TSB participated in the design of the survey, trained the research team and oversaw the fieldwork and critical revision of the manuscript. DO and BT trained the research team, oversaw the fieldwork and participated in editing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Ethiopia is rapidly increasing insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) coverage to combat malaria, but adequate follow-up and factors affecting use of ITNs is lacking. The aim of this study was to assess determinants of the use of ITNs in a southwest area of Ethiopia.
This cross-sectional survey was conducted in the Chewaka district settlement area of southwest Oromia from March to May, 2013. Kebeles were stratified by degree of urbanization (rural, peri-urban, or urban). Randomly selected households, which had been freely supplied with at least one ITN, were surveyed using a pre-tested, structured questionnaire administered through household interviews. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between use of ITNs and determinant factors.
Of 574 households surveyed, 72.6 % possessed ITNs and 80 % of these had been used the night before the survey. The most common reasons for the absence ITNs in the household identified in this study were ITNs were old and therefore discarded and that households use ITNs for purposes other than their intended use. The multivariate analysis found that knowledge of malaria transmission by mosquito bites (Adjusted OR = 3.44, 95 % CI: 1.80–6.59), and washing of ITNs at least once by households (Adjusted OR = 2.66, 95 % CI: 1.35–5.26) were significantly associated with an ITN being used by households. The mean possession was 1.59 ITN per household (3.57 persons per an ITN). One hundred fifty four (36.9 %) of ITNs had at least one hole/tear. Among these, 108 (70.1 %) ITNs had at least one hole/tear with greater than 2 cm and 29 (18.8 %) had greater than seven holes/tears.
This study in Southwest Ethiopia showed a high proportion of net ownership compared to a household survey from Ethiopia which included in the World Malaria Report. Despite somewhat high percentages ITN ownership, the study demonstrated there was still a gap between ownership and use of ITNs. Use of ITNs was affected by knowledge of malaria transmission by mosquito bite and washing of ITNs at least once by households. Intensive health education and community mobilization efforts should be employed to attempt to influence these factors that significantly affect ITN use.