Use of Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets in the Prevention of Malaria among the Jaggery and Tea Workers in Kisii County, Kenya
Omwono, Masta Ondara
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Insecticide- treated nets (ITNs) if used correctly are the most powerful malaria control intervention tools which have been recommended by most governments in the world. Yet up to date, use is still very low in some places with only three percent of African sleeping under an ITN and about 20 percent sleeping under any kind of net. Worse still, malaria continues to be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among the Jaggery and tea workers in both sugar cane and tea industry. The main aim of this study was to assess the use of ITNs among the Jaggery and tea workers in the prevention of malaria in the South Mugirango Sub County, Kisii County. The specific objectives include; to establish the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, to determine knowledge on the use of ITNs, to examine the perception of the ITNs use, to establish the level of ITNs use and to identify the factors that influence the ITNs use among the Jaggery and tea workers. The study adopted descriptive cross sectional design whereby both cluster, proportionate, purposive and snowball sampling approaches were used to get the sample size of 209 respondents from the Jaggery and tea workers to be interviewed. Data was collected using questionnaires, key informant interview and focused group discussions. Qualitative and quantitative data were transcribed; coded and categorized to come up with the emerging themes. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Chi-Square was used to determine the relationship between variables. The results show low levels of ITNs use due to lack of knowledge and low level of income as (52.2%) of respondents did not know the difference between ITNs and non-treated nets. It was found that 56% of respondents were males with 44% being females. Most of the Jaggery and tea workers were aged between 29- 39 years and 40-50 years with 41%and 26% respondents respectively. Education was significantly related (p<0.001) with ITNs use whereby 82.4% of non- users were found to have no education at all. Gender and occupation were significantly related with (p<0.001) and (p<0.003) and the use of ITNs respectively. Economic factors were also associated with ITNs use. The cost, accessibility and house structure were related with (p<0.010) and (p<0.001) and the use of ITNs respectively. The study found that weather was significantly related (p<0.001) with the use of ITNs among the Jaggery and tea workers. The study concludes that demographic and socioeconomic characteristics were statistically associated (p<0.001) with the use of ITNs. Furthermore, knowledge, perception, level of use and factors such as accessibility and affordability were statistically related and influence ITNs utilization among the Jaggery and tea workers. This study recommends implementation of programs and policy formulation to empower the Jaggery and tea workers in education and economically through income generating activities to strengthen their resource base. Study results are useful in addressing ITNs utilization among the Jaggery and tea workers in the prevention of malaria in Kisii County, Kenya. It will also help the Kisii County government to redirect more resources to malaria prevention. Therefore, this study recommends the future research in the informal sector as well as low income earners as they were found to be the most malaria vulnerable group.