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Exposure to Malaria Prevention Messages and Insecticide Treated Bednet Usage among Children Under Five Years in Ghana
Authors: Stella Blanch Apo, Stephen Owusu Kwankye, and Delali Margaret Badasu
Source: European Scientific Journal, 11(18)
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Insecticidetreated mosquito nets (ITNs)
Country: Africa
Published: JUN 2015
Abstract: This paper assesses exposure to messages on malaria prevention among household heads with children 0-4 years in Ghana, and examines whether exposure influences use of ITNs among these children in their households and if certain types of exposure (television, radio, health worker) are associated with ITN usage. We used data collected in the 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey for which over 12,000 households were selected for interview. We used a final sample of 1770 households in our analyses. Bivariate and multivariate techniques were employed to examine the relationship between household head's level of exposure to malaria prevention messages and use of ITNs among children under five. Children under five years whose household heads had exposure to malaria prevention messages had over twice the odds of using ITNs as those whose household heads had no exposure. Household heads who were exposed through health workers and the radio had about 40 percent higher odds of using ITNs for their children under five years compared to those who did not have exposure through these channels while controlling for other channels. Campaigns must go beyond the production of messages regarding the hanging of bednets to include information on behaviour of mosquitoes to improve use of ITNs. Community-based educational campaigns involving health workers are recommended to target universal use of ITNs among under-five children in Ghana. There is also the need to improve literacy in order for other channels of information such as newspapers and posters to achieve similar results.