THE IMPACT OF INSECTICIDE TREATED NET (ITN) ON MALARIA PARASITAEMIA AMONG OUT-PATIENTS IN AGULERI, ANAMBRA EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ANAMBRA STATE.

AUTHOR: EGBUCHE CHUKWUDI MICHAEL

DEPARTMENT: PARASITOLOGY AND ENTOMOLOGY

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

The study on the impact of Insecticide Treated Net (ITN) on malaria parasitaemia among out- patients was carried out in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area, Anambra State between October 2011 and March 2012. A two-stage cluster sampling technique was employed in selecting the three hospitals used in the study. Blood samples of 327 patients who attended Primary Health Centre, Chidubem Hospital and Maternity, and Chinedu Hospital and Maternity, Aguleri were examined using Giemsa stained thick and thin films. Also, structured questionnaires were administered to the patients from whom blood samples were collected in order to obtain information on their ITN usage. Two hundred and nineteen subjects (67.0%) were found infected with P. falciparum. It was the only type of malaria parasite encountered. Age and sex specific prevalences of malaria showed no statistical difference (P> 0.05). Awareness about ITN was 100% among the respondents as they have all heard about and seen ITN. Ownership of ITN was 74.0% (242/ 327). There was significant difference in ownership by sex and marital status (P <0.05). The overall usage of ITN in the study area was 19.9% (65/327) and out of 242 persons that owned ITN, 65 (26.9%) used it. Also usage of ITN was higher, 33.3% (36/108) among the uninfected persons and lower, 13.2% (29/219) among the infected persons. Usage was significantly different by marital status and occupation (P<0.05). Impact assessment of ITN showed that more people who do not use ITN had a higher prevalence of malaria ,72.5% (190/262) than those that use ITN, 44.6% (29/65). This is statistically significant (P<0.05) by age, occupation and level of education. However, the reduction was not absolute as the overall protective efficacy of ITN was found to be 38% (Risk ratio = 0.62). This shows that ITN is only partly effective due to the fact that other factors could predispose one to malaria other than non usage of ITN. 

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