Bed Nets Ownership Utilization and Malaria Trend among Pregnant Women in the Bamenda Health District; North West Region-Cameroon
Introduction: Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease affecting millions of people across the world especially children under five years and pregnant women. Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs/ITN) are an important malaria control tool and are freely distributed to pregnant women during Ante Natal Care. This study assessed the ownership and utilization of LLINs and malaria trend among pregnant women in the Bamenda Health District (BHD).
Materials and Methods: Data was obtained from the district database to develop the epidemiological profile of malaria in pregnancy while for prospective study, a quantitative cross-sectional survey was carried out in three health units in BHD. All eligible pregnant women present at the time of visit were conveniently used. Data was collected using a questionnaire. Chi-square and logistic regression were used to determine the relationship and association between the dependent and independent variables.
Results: Ownership of LLIN was 82.9% while usage was 71.5%. Our study revealed a positive association between bed net utilization and malaria occurrence among pregnant women. This association was influenced by several mediating factors such as demographic, sociocultural, socioeconomic variables, etc. Our study showed that pregnant women who have never been to school were 6.43 times more likely to contract malaria compared to those with a higher level of education. Pregnant women who sleep every night under a treated bed net has a protective effect of 18% (1.80-0.82*100). We also observed that the risk of contracting malaria is 1.48 times higher among those who believe that the mosquito net does not prevent malaria unlike those who believe the opposite. The risk of contracting malaria was 4.30 times higher when pregnant women do not own a net etc.
Conclusion: Nets utilization influences malaria occurrence among pregnant women in the BHD. Behaviour change communication strategies on LLINs use should be further targeted to improve LLINs utilization among pregnant women.