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Infectious Diseases - Non-Clinical Medicine - Obstetrics - Public Health and Epidemiology - Women's Health

Determinants of Use of Insecticide Treated Nets for the Prevention of Malaria in Pregnancy: Jinja, Uganda
Published: Friday, June 22, 2012
Author: Laura R. Sangaré et al.

by Laura R. Sangaré, Noel S. Weiss, Paula E. Brentlinger, Barbra A. Richardson, Sarah G. Staedke, Mpungu S. Kiwuwa, Andy Stergachis


One established means of preventing the adverse consequences of malaria during pregnancy is sleeping under an insecticide treated net (ITN) throughout pregnancy. Despite increased access to this intervention over time, consistent ITN use during pregnancy remains relatively uncommon in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We sought to identify determinants of ITN use during pregnancy. Utilizing a population-based random sample, we interviewed 500 women living in Jinja, Uganda, who had been pregnant in the past year. ITN ownership at the start of pregnancy was reported by 359 women (72%) and 28 women (20%) acquired an ITN after the first trimester of pregnancy. Among 387 ITN owners, 73% reported either always sleeping under the ITN during all trimesters of pregnancy, or after acquiring their net. Owning more than 1 net was slightly associated with always sleeping under an ITN during pregnancy (RR: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.28). Women who always slept under an ITN during pregnancy were more likely to be influenced by an advertisement on the radio/poster than being given an ITN free of charge (RR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.24, 1.76). No differences were found between other socio-demographic factors, pregnancy history, ANC use or socio-cultural factors.


While self-reported ITN ownership and use was common throughout pregnancy, we were unable to pinpoint why a sizable fraction of Ugandan women did not always adhere to recommendations for use of an ITN during pregnancy. More data are needed on the capacity of individual households to support the installation of ITNs which may provide insight into interventions targeted at improving the convenience and adherence of daily ITN use.