Reasons for low usage of insecticide treated mosquito net

The use of insecticide treated mosquito is one of the strategies of Roll Back Malaria initiative. It is form of vector control measure but there exists discordance between awareness and utilization of the mosquito net in the country.
Usage of treated mosquito nets for the prevention of malaria has been found to fall short of what is expected in the country. In a report of a newspaper, FG donated 62 million naira of mosquito net since 2009. The expectation is that most household should have a least one owned bed net being use while sleeping. Interaction with mothers during immunization /anti – natal visit at primary health center in our local government area revealed that, many claimed receiving free donated treated mosquito net. Most of them could boast of possessing two or three mosquito net still being kept at home but not in use.

Those who possessed one or more claimed to have the blue rectangular long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) PermaNet® distributed by the government and NGOs. Few claimed to have purchased their mosquito nets from the pharmacy store while many do not own net at all.
However, certain significant factors still prevent the use of the treated mosquito nets, even among those who possess them.

  • Perception and poor knowledge seem to be the problem here.
  • Dominating reason not for using the net even they buy one today, is that, the heat could be so much sleeping under mosquito net not to mention of power failure at most times of the night.
  • Difficulty in hanging the net is another reason for not using mosquito nets.
  • Some complain of rectangular shape making their room not attractive and not easy to take down in the morning.
  • Another concern is that some react to the chemical used on the net. Peppering sensation in the eyes for days and sometimes body hives.
  • Many claimed that most nearby pharmacy store and supermarket do not sell mosquito net thus making it difficult to buy.
  • Many prefer the conical mosquito net that is easy to hang and better in the room when used.
It is a suggestion that government and NGOs should stimulate the promotion and sensitization of people through radio and television advertisement. Future campaigns should include more purposeful social and health education on the importance and advantages of the use of treated nets to save lives.

Government should encourage the involvement of private sector, especially the patent medicine vendors/kiosks/supermarkets, in ensuring better access to prefer mosquito nets shapes and color, since patent medicine vendors/kiosks were found in even the remotest parts of the country. Integration of the private sector into malaria control remained a key to sustaining and reducing deaths due to malaria in the country.

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