Knowledge and Use of Insecticide-Treated Net Among Mothers with Children under Five Years at Atua, Ghana: A Community and Health Facility Based Study

Gertrude Narkie Tetteh, Kobina Esia-Donkoh, Erasmus Tetteh-Bator


Treated Nets (ITNs) have been identified as one of the most effective tools for malaria prevention. Yet only three percent (3%) of African children are currently sleeping under an ITN, and about twenty percent (20%) are sleeping under any kind of net. The study sought to access the knowledge and use of ITNs among mothers with children under-five as well as identify the approaches to promote and sustain the use of ITNs. This study was conducted at Atua in the Manya Krobo Municipality among mothers with children under five through in-depth interviews and a Focus Group of Discussion with community volunteers and members. The research identified three (3) significant issues/problems relating to the knowledge and use of Insecticide-Treated Nets among the mothers in the community. The findings show that ownership of ITNs among mothers with children under -five was high and this was due to the free ITN distribution of the product, whereas knowledge of its usage was low since most mothers were ignorant about ITN fixing or hanging, consistency in usage, retreatment of ITNs and have different perception and misconceptions about ITNs. Secondly, the finding identified factors such as age, type of household arrangements, low knowledge, finance, perception, beliefs, and misconception as causes for low usage of ITN. Thirdly, although sensitization on ITN use had taken place within the municipality, it had not been effective enough to promote and sustain the use of ITNs.This study ranked the following negative impact factors and concluded that low know-how, financial problems, household dynamics, negative perceptions, and misconceptions of ITNs, impact negatively on effective utilization of ITNs among mothers with children under five years. The study, therefore, recommends that the public-private partnership should be adapted to ensure accessibility, affordability, and sensitization on ITN’s, their retreatment, and consistent usage. Also, there should be strategic education on behavior change to transform mothers’ perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes on the use of ITN in the community.

Keywords: Acute Febrile Illness, Insecticide-Treated Nets ITNs, Plasmodium Parasites, In-depth Interviews, Focus Group Discussions, Roll Back Malaria, Thematic Analysis, Non-Governmental Organizations

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/102-03

Publication date:September 30th 2022

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