Paper Title: Knowledge, attitude and practice towards use of insecticide treated nets by undergraduates of a tertiary institution in South-South Nigeria
Authors: Douglas K.E, Mimeyeraye O, Monago C.B, Omonade O.R.
Background: Malaria remains a rising cause of morbidity and mortality - posing a major threat to the Nigerian and indeed African economies. The tertiary institutions which are nurseries for any nations workforce are not spared. Insecticide treated nets (ITN) have been applied with considerable success in the prevention and control of malaria. This study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of undergraduates of a tertiary institution in South-South Nigeria towards use of insecticide treated bed nets. Methods: Following ethical clearance from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine University of Port Harcourt, this descriptive cross sectional study had 180 consenting regular undergraduates ( from sampled departments) of the University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Nigeria administered pre-tested semi-structured questionnaires which probed their socio-demographics, knowledge, attitude and practice towards the use of insecticide treated nets. The data were entered in an Excel spread sheet and analyzed using descriptive statistical tools. Results: Most participants were aged between 20-24 years with a male to female ratio of 1:1.63. Most participants (99.4%) agreed they were aware of malaria while 97.6% were aware of insecticide treated nets and 92.3% agreed it could prevent malaria. Only 64.3% of respondents owned and used ITN while the main source of ITN was through health workers. Conclusion: Respondents had a good knowledge of insecticide treated nets in the prevention and control of malaria. However, their behaviour towards use of ITN fell short of their level of knowledge. It is recommended that intensive health education and awareness be carried out amongst these students with a view to increasing availability, access to and use of insecticide treated nets.