Net use, care and repair practices following a universal distribution campaign in Mali
Published Date:Nov 18 2014
Source:Malar J. 13(1).
The Government of Mali and the President’s Malaria Initiative conducted a long-lasting, insecticidal net (LLIN) distribution campaign in April 2011 in the Sikasso region of Mali, with the aim of universal coverage, defined as one insecticide-treated net for every two persons. This study examines how households in post- and pre-campaign regions value and care for nets.
The study was conducted in October 2012 in Sikasso and Kayes in the southeast and western regions of Mali, respectively. The regions were purposively selected to allow for comparison between areas that had already had a mass distribution campaign (Sikasso) and areas that had not yet had a mass distribution campaign (Kayes). Study sites and households were randomly selected. Sleeping space questionnaires and structured interviews with household heads were conducted to obtain information on net use, perceived value of free nets in relation to other malaria prevention activities, and net care and repair practices.
The study included 40 households, split evenly across the two regions. Forty interviews were conducted with household heads and 151 sleeping spaces were inventoried using the sleeping space questionnaire. Nets obtained through the free distribution were reported to be highly valued in comparison to other malaria prevention strategies. Overall, net ownership and use were higher among households in areas that had already experienced a mass distribution. While participants reported using and valuing these nets, care and repair practices varied.
National net use is high in Mali, and comparatively higher in the region covered by the universal distribution campaign than in the region not yet covered. While the Government of Mali and implementing partners have made strides to ensure high net coverage, some gaps remain related to communication messaging of correct and consistent net use throughout the year, and on improving net care and repair behaviour. By focusing on these areas as well as improved access to nets, coverage and use rates should continue to increase, contributing to improvements in malaria control.
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