AK Adeneye, PO Ossai and TS Awolola are sharing with us a pilot study they conducted based from the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research in Yaba, Lagos.
With two years to the MDGs deadline, there is limited evidence of decreases in malaria-related mortality and morbidity in Nigeria. We therefore wanted to evaluate the awareness, accessibility and use of malaria control interventions among at-risk groups in Lagos State, Nigeria.
In planning for a broader assessment we conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional pilot study of 80 consenting pregnant women and mothers of children below five years of age. It was carried out using a household survey questionnaire and observation in Ikotun and Ketu communities of Lagos State
All respondents identified mosquito as the malaria vector. Respondents’ preferred drugs for malaria treatment were as follows: sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (31.3%); ACTs (20.2%); artemisinin monotherapies (15.0%); chloroquine (13.8); and analgesics (12.5%). Only (30.0%) had used ACTs, and 55.0% of these had practiced self-medication.
Nearly all knew of and had LLINs. From room observation, only 53.8% (31.5% mothers of under-five vs. 11.3% pregnant women) actually hung the LLINs. Reasons for non-use of LLIN included: “prefer house spraying” (28.8%) and “causes heat” (7.5%).
LLIN use was positively associated with education (p<0.05), ranging from 50.0% (no education) to 77.8% (post-secondary). Only 41.8% got their LLINs through house-to-house mass distribution. Women averaged washing their nets 3 times within an average of 21.7 months of use.
LLIN washing practices showed that 30.5% used toilet soaps compared to detergents and hard soaps (66.7%). Unfortunately, 19.4% sun dried their nets.
While 52.6% of the pregnant women were aware of IPTp, 42.1% actually had received at least one dose.
Results of this pilot showed high awareness but low and poor use of malaria control interventions in populations studied. A wider survey in the near future will inform public health education on the different malaria control interventions that need to be intensified among the women so they can benefit from improved pregnancy and child health outcomes. This is important if the malaria-related MDG targets are to be realized in Lagos and in Nigeria in general.