MALARIA PREVALENCE AND USE OF INSTECTICIDE TREATED NETS IN URBAN AND RURAL AREAS OF AWKA NORTH AND SOUTH LGA, ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA

AUTHOR: IWUORA, OGOCHUKWU IFEOMA

DEPARTMENT: PARASITOLOGY AND ENTOMOLOGY

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

A study on malaria prevalence and the use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) among rural and urban dwellers of Awka L.G.As was carried out between January 2011 and July 2011. Venepuncture technique was used in collecting blood from randomly selected individuals and the blood samples were examined for malaria parasite using thick blood film technique. Knockdown collection technique using pyrethrum was employed in indoor mosquito collection while questionnaires were used to collect information on bed net ownership and usage. Of the 442 persons examined in both urban and rural areas, 287(64.9%) were positive for malaria parasites. Higher prevalence (69.1%) was recorded among rural dwellers than urban dwellers (61.7%). The difference was however not statically significant (P>0.05). Males had a higher prevalence rate of 66.7% than the females 63.8% but this was not statically significant (P> 0.05). The age group 0 – 5 years had the highest prevalence rate of 75.9% while the age group 36 – 40 years had the least prevalence rate of 50%. The study also revealed the presence of malaria both in wet and dry season however higher prevalence (69.3%) was recorded in wet season than (57.7%) dry season(P<0.05). The vector survey recorded seven mosquito species belonging to the genus Anopheles, Aedes and Culex. Of the 8 surveyed towns, ITN possession range from 25% to 39.3% and from 6.1% to 23.2% for non treated net. Higher malaria prevalence (72.4%) was recorded for respondents that did not use bed net the preceding night of study than those that used net (54.6%). This was statistically significant (P< 0.01). Ignorance, unavailability, harsh weather/seasons, financial constraints, irritation and safety were some of the reasons given by respondents for non usage of bed nets. Findings from the study showed that malaria prevalence in the study areas does not depend on mosquito abundance, sex, place of residence and socioeconomic status but on the availability and usage of ITN and season.

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