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Hunter G.C.,Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs | Scandurra L.,Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs | Acosta A.,Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs | Koenker H.,Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs | And 2 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2014

Background: The longevity of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) under field conditions has important implications for malaria vector control. The behaviour of bed net users, including net care and repair, may protect or damage bed nets and impact the physical integrity of nets. However, this behaviour, and the motivating and inhibiting factors, is not well understood. Methods. Qualitative research methods were used to examine behaviour, attitudes and norms around damage, care and repair of LLINs. Eighteen in-depth interviews (IDI) and six focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted with LLIN users in two local government areas of Nasarawa State, Nigeria. A brief background questionnaire with the 73 participants prior to IDIs or FGDs collected additional data on demographics, net use, and care and repair behaviour. Results: Respondents cited that the major causes of damage to bed nets are primarily children, followed by rodents, everyday handling that is not gentle, and characteristics of sleeping spaces. Caring for nets was perceived as both preventing damage by careful handling and keeping the net clean, which may lead to over-washing of LLINs. Repairing a damaged net was considered something that net users should do and the responsibility of adults in the household. Despite this, reported frequency of net repair was low (18%). Motivations for taking care of and repairing nets centred around caring for one's family, avoiding mosquito bites, saving money, and maintaining the positive opinion of others by keeping a clean and intact net. Barriers to net care and repair related to time availability and low perceived value of bed nets or of one's health. Conclusion: This study provides novel and valuable insights on the perceptions and attitudes of LLIN users in Nasarawa, Nigeria on the durability of bed nets, how to care for and repair nets, and for what reasons. Communication around net care should stress proper daily storage of nets, regular net inspections, prompt repairs, and clarify misconceptions about proper washing frequency and technique. These messages should include compelling motivators, such as local social norms of household hygiene. © 2014 Hunter et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Ye Y.,ICF International | Patton E.,ICF International | Kilian A.,Malaria Consortium | Dovey S.,ICF International | Eckert E.,U.S. S President Malaria Initiative USAID
Malaria Journal | Year: 2012

Background: Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are effective tools for malaria prevention and can significantly reduce severe disease and mortality due to malaria, especially among children under five in endemic areas. However, ITN coverage and use remain low and inequitable among different socio-economic groups in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Several strategies have been proposed to increase coverage and use and reduce inequity in Nigeria, including free distribution campaigns recently conducted by the Nigerian federal government. Using data from the first post-campaign survey, the authors investigated the effect of the mass free distribution campaigns in achieving equity in household ownership and use of ITNs. Methods. A post-campaign survey was undertaken in November 2009 in northern Nigeria to assess the effect of the campaigns in addressing equity across different socio-economic groups. The survey included 987 households randomly selected from 60 clusters in Kano state. Using logistic regression and the Lorenz concentration curve and index, the authors assessed equity in ITN coverage and use. Results: ITN ownership coverage increased from 10% before the campaigns to 70%-a more than fivefold increase. The campaigns reduced the ownership coverage gap by 75%, effectively reaching parity among wealth quintiles (Concentration index 0.02, 95% CI (-0.02; 0.05) versus 0.21 95%CI (0.08; 0.34) before the campaigns). ITN use (individuals reporting having slept under an ITN the night before the survey visit) among individuals from households owning at least one ITN, was 53.1% with no statistically significant difference between the lowest, second, third and fourth wealth quintiles and the highest wealth quintile (lowest: odds ratio (OR) 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.67; 1.13); second: OR 0.85, 95% CI (0.66; 1.24); third: OR 1.10 95% CI (0.86; 1.4) and fourth OR 0.91 95% CI (0.72; 1.15). Conclusion: The campaign had a significant impact by increasing ITN coverage and reducing inequity in ownership and use. Free ITN distribution campaigns should be sustained to increase equitable coverage. These campaigns should be supplemented with other ITN distribution strategies to cover newborns and replace aging nets. © 2012 Ye et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Nakanjako D.,Makerere University | Kiragga A.N.,Makerere University | Castelnuovo B.,Makerere University | Kyabayinze D.J.,Malaria Consortium | Kamya M.R.,Makerere University
Malaria Journal | Year: 2011

Background: Presumptive treatment of malaria is common practice in malaria endemic resource-limited settings. With the changing epidemiology of malaria and the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), there is increasing need for parasite-based malaria case management to prevent unnecessary use of anti-malarial medicines, improve patient care in parasite-positive patients and identify parasite-negative patients in whom another diagnosis must be sought. Although parasitological confirmation by microscopy or alternatively by malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) is recommended in all patients suspected of malaria before treatment, gaps remain in the implementation of this policy in resource-limited settings. There is need to evaluate the use of RDTs among highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART)-treated people living with HIV (PLHIV). Methods. Within an urban prospective observational research cohort of 559 PLHIV initiated on HAART and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis between April, 2004 and April, 2005, 128 patients with sustained HIV-RNA viral load < 400 copies/ml for four years were evaluated, in a cross-sectional study, for asymptomatic malaria infection using a histidine-rich protein-2 (HRP-2) RDT to detect Plasmodium falciparum antigen in peripheral blood. Patients with positive RDT results had microscopy performed to determine the parasite densities and were followed for clinical signs and symptoms during the subsequent six months. Results: Of the 128 asymptomatic patients screened, only 5 (4%) had asymptomatic P. falciparum antigenaemia. All the patients with positive HRP2 RDT results showed malaria parasites on thick film with parasite densities ranging from 02-15 malaria parasites per high power field. None of the patients with positive RDT results reported signs and symptoms of malaria infection during the subsequent six months. Conclusions: In an urban area of low to moderate stable malaria transmission, there was low HRP2 P. falciparum antigenaemia among PLHIV after long-term HAART and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis. Parasite-based malaria diagnosis (PMD) is recommended among PLHIV that are on long-term anti-retroviral therapy. RDTs should be utilized to expand PMD in similar settings where microscopy is unavailable. © 2011 Nakanjako et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Banek K.,Uganda Malaria Surveillance Project | Kilian A.,Malaria Consortium | Allan R.,MENTOR Initiative
Malaria Journal | Year: 2010

Background. By 2008, the WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) recommended five long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) for the prevention of malaria: Olyset®, PermaNet 2.0®, Netprotect®, Duranet® and Interceptor®. Field information is available for both Olyset® and PermaNet®, with limited data on the newer LLINs. To address this gap, a field evaluation was carried out to determine the acceptability and durability of Interceptor® LLINs. Methods. A one-year prospective field study was conducted in eight rural returnee villages in Liberia. Households were randomized to receive Interceptor® LLINs or conventionally treated nets (CTNs). Primary outcomes were levels of residual alpha-cypermethrin measured by HPLC and participant utilization/acceptability of the ITNs. Results. A total of 398 nets were analysed for residual alpha-cypermethrin. The median baseline concentrations of insecticide were 175.5 mg/m2 for the Interceptor® LLIN and 21.8 mg/m2 for the CTN. Chemical residue loss after a one year follow-up period was 22% and 93% respectively. Retention and utilization of nets remained high (94%) after one year, irrespective of type, while parasitaemia prevalence decreased from 29.7% at baseline to 13.6% during the follow up survey (p = < 0.001). Interview and survey data show perceived effectiveness of ITNs was just as important as other physical attributes in influencing net utilization. Conclusion. Interceptor® LLINs are effective and desirable in rural communities in Liberia. Consideration for end user preferences should be incorporated into product development of all LLINs in the future, in order to achieve optimum retention and utilization. © 2010 Banek et al.

Kunutsor S.K.,Malaria Consortium | Powles J.W.,University of Cambridge
Cardiovascular Journal of Africa | Year: 2010

Introduction: Associations between ambient temperature and blood pressure have been demonstrated in countries where the temperature varies between the seasons. This phenomenon has been overlooked in blood pressure surveys in sub-Saharan Africa. We assessed the effect of ambient temperature on blood pressure in an adult population in a West African country. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out on a rural Ghanaian population, investigating the effect of ambient temperature on blood pressure in 574 randomly sampled adults aged between 18 and 65 years. Results: There was a significant inverse relationship between ambient temperature and systolic (SBP) (p < 0.019) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (p < 0.036). SBP fell by 5 mmHg per 10°C rise in ambient temperature. Conclusion: Higher ambient temperatures are associated with lower blood pressures. To enhance comparability of data from epidemiological surveys, ambient temperature should be recorded for each blood pressure reading and findings standardised to a fixed ambient temperature.

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