Assessing coverage of insecticide - treated nets (ITNs) in the prevention of malaria in Ejisu - Juaben Distrct, Ghana

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The malaria burden is a challenge to human development. It is both a cause and consequence of under-development. In Ghana, malaria is the leading c use of morbidity accounting for about 40% of outpatients (OPD) attendance. It is also the leading cause of mortality in children under five (5) years, a significant cause of adult mortality and leading cause of work days lost due to illness (RBM-Ghana, 2000). Use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) which is one of the strategies adopted at the Abuja African Heads of State conference for the prevention of malaria is still low in Sub-Saharan Africa (Monasch et al., 2003; Curtis et al., 2003). Coverage of possession and use of ITNs was assessed through modified EFI cluster survey method of twenty (20) towns and villages in Ejisu-Juaben district. The communities were further grouped into rural and urban communities. Possession of FUN in the district was low (31%) when compared to the Abuja target of (60%). But use of ITN was high (88%) as against (16%) reported in Ejisu-Juaben district annual health report (GHS-Ejisu-Juaben, 2004). There was no association between possession and use of ITN (p=O.2l: NS). Possession was high in urban than in rural but the difference between urban and rural was not statistically significant (pO.47: NS). However, use was high in rural than in the urban communities but was also not statistically significant through the Fisher’s exact test (p=O. 11: NS). There was a light knowledge on ITN but did not have any effect on possession due to high cost of nets and lack of access to nets except pregnant women. More long lasting nets should be imported into the country and must be subsidize for all not only children under 5 and pregnant women because everybody suffers from malaria and this can reduce malaria morbidity and mortality cases in Ghana. Conical nets should be imported for rural communities for easy hanging even without beds. Education on ITN should be intensified and should include re-treatment of nets.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion, 2005