Author(s): Ndjinga JK, Minakawa N
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Malaria is the most prominent disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) have been distributed free of charge since 2006 to combat the disease. However, the success of this bed net campaign depends on sufficient bed net use in all age groups. This study was designed to examine the factors affecting bed net use in villages outside of Kinshasa. METHODS: Two villages along the Congo River, totalling 142 households with 640 residents, were surveyed using a standard questionnaire. The interview determined the number, ages, and sexes of family members; the education level of the family head; the number, colour, and type of nets owned; and the number of nets used in the previous night. The size of house was also measured, and numbers of rooms and beds were recorded. These variables were examined to reveal important factors that affect bed net use. RESULTS: A total of 469 nets were counted, and nearly all nets were white LLINs. Of these nets, 229 (48.8\%) nets were used by 284 (44.4\%) residents. Bed nets were used by over 90\% of children 5 to 15 years of age, whereas less than 50\% of the residents in other age groups used bed nets. The important variables affecting bed net use were numbers of beds and rooms in the house and the education level of the family head of household. CONCLUSION: Education was the most important factor affecting bed net use in the villages outside Kinshasa. Development of an educational programme, particularly one directed toward parents, is necessary to reduce misconceptions and increase prevalence of bed net use among all age groups.
This article was published in Malar J
and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography