Malaria knowledge and long-lasting insecticidal net use in rural communities of central Côte d'Ivoire.Malar J. 2011 Oct 04; 10:288.MJ
To improve effectiveness of malaria control interventions, it is essential to deepen the knowledge of contextual factors that govern people's practice for preventive and curative measures. The aim of this study was to determine factors that influence the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) in three rural communities of Côte d'Ivoire, two of which benefited from recent interventions.
The study was carried out in 957 households in three villages (Bozi, N'Dakonankro and Yoho) located in central Côte d'Ivoire. Indicators of socioeconomic position (SEP), malaria knowledge and practice, placing special emphasis on LLINs, were investigated during a cross-sectional questionnaire survey. Principal component analysis was used to calculate the SEP of households by means of a list of household assets ownership. The concentration index was used to assess the direction of the association between SEP and a given variable. To compare groups or means, Fisher's exact test, χ2 and Kruskal-Wallis test were used, as appropriate.
Significant differences were found between SEP and reported malaria symptoms, such as fever or hot body, convulsion, anaemia and jaundice (yellow eyes). Individuals from the least poor group cited more often the use of bed nets and insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) compared to poorer groups. The mean number of individuals reporting the use of bed nets and LLINs was different between groups with different educational level. Moreover, the mean number of LLINs in a household was influenced by the presence of children below five years of age.
The study not only confirmed that education and SEP play important roles in the prevention and control of malaria and promotion of health in general, but pointed at the basic essential knowledge and the key behavioural elements that should guide education and learning processes among the poorer segments of the population. In turn, such knowledge may change behaviour and lead to an increased utilization of LLINs.