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Open Access Research article

Low long-lasting insecticide nets (LLINs) use among household members for protection against mosquito bite in kersa, Eastern Ethiopia

Tesfaye Gobena1*, Yemane Berhane2 and Alemayehu Worku3

Author Affiliations

1 College of Health Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, P.O. Box: 235, Ethiopia

2 Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

3 School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:914  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-914

Published: 29 October 2012

Abstract

Background

In Ethiopia, despite the increasing availability of long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs), the LLINs use among LLINs owning households has not been satisfactory. Identifying the circumstances and the associated factors is necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goal targets. We aimed to assess barriers related with LLIN use at the household level.

Methods

A cross sectional survey was conducted in Kersa Demographic Surveillance and Health Research Center (KDS-HRC) from October to November 2010. A total of 2867 households were selected from a surveillance database using a simple random sampling technique. The data were collected by interviewing women, direct observation of LLINs conditions and use, and in-depth interviewing of key informants. Multivariate analysis was used to determine independent predictors of LLIN non-use.

Results

Of the total surveyed households, 65.5% (1879) had at least one LLIN, but 33.5% (630) LLINs owned households had used at least one LLIN the night before the survey. Low educational level of women, low awareness on malaria prevention, unavailability of separate sleeping room, LLIN colour preference, and unavailability of enough LLINs to the household members were the main barriers to LLIN use. A supplementary qualitative interview with key informants also identified that poor condition of LLINs; undermining the extent of malaria; and using the LLIN for other purposes as the main reasons for non-use.

Conclusions

This study indicates that only about one third of LLIN owned households are actually using at least one LLIN for protection against mosquito bite. Thus, majority of the residents are at higher risk of mosquito bite and acquiring of malaria infection. Households living in fringe zone are not benefiting from the LLIN protection. Further progress in malaria prevention can be achieved by specifically targeting populations in fringe zones and conducting focused public education to increase LLIN use.