Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia, are focusing on the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) to combat malaria. However, utilization of the LLIN is low when compared with LLIN possession because of various factors. This study was conducted to measure the actual LLIN usage and identify factors associated with its utilization in Limmu Seka District, South West Ethiopia.
A community based cross-sectional survey was conducted among 830 households from December 25, 2011 to February 29, 2012.
A total of 830 households were selected by stratified systematic sampling and surveyed. Ninety percent of those surveyed owned LLINs and 68.3% reported that someone had slept under the net on the night prior to the survey. The factors associated with LLIN usage were knowledge of the mode of malaria transmission (AOR; 0.086, 95% CI 0.03, 0.24), the preferred conical shapes of the LLIN (AOR; 1.6, 95% CI 1.31, 4.1), receiving information about their use from Health Extension Workers (HEWs) (AOR; 2.4, 95% CI 1.5, 3.9), hearing media campaigns (AOR; 3.2 95% CI 3.5, 9.2), education at a health facility (AOR; 2 95% CI 1.5, 3.9) or having a family size of three or less (AOR; 2.1, 95% CI 1.3, 3.5).
Although ownership of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets was high at 90%, the actual usage of LLIN was low, and not all family members were protected. Promoting the usage of LLINs utilization by those at most risk, especially the conical shaped ones, through intensified health education using HEWs and mass media campaigns at all health facilities, schools and communities will improve LLIN utilization.