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Bed net ownership, use and perceptions among women seeking antenatal care in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Opportunities for improved maternal and child health

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-331

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Women attending their first ANC visit at one maternity in Kinshasa were recruited to take part in a study where they were given free insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs) and then followed up at delivery and 6 months post delivery to assess ITN use. This study describes the baseline levels of bed net ownership and use, attitudes towards net use and factors associated with net useAmong 351 women interviewed at baseline, 115 (33%) already owned a bed net and 86 (25%) reported to have slept under the net the previous night. Cost was reported as the reason for not owning a net by 48% of the 236 women who did not own one. In multivariable analyses, women who had secondary school or higher education were 3.4 times more likely to own a net (95% CI 1.6–7.3) and 2.8 times more likely to have used a net (95% CI 1.3–6.0) compared to women with less educationDistribution of ITNs in antenatal clinics in this setting is needed and feasible. The potential for ITN use by this target population is high.There are between 300 and 500 million malaria infections and 1 million malaria attributed deaths worldwide each year [1]. The global malaria burden is not evenly distributed with Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 90% of global malaria cases [2], and a majority of these cases occurring among women and children[3]. Malaria adversely impacts maternal health causing malaria-related anemia, and accounts for 20% of all childhood deaths in Africa [1,2]. Because of this, pregnant women and children under 5 have been targeted as key groups for malaria prevention. One major aim of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) campaign is to have 80% of pregnant women and children under 5 covered by insecticide treated bed nets (ITN) by 2010[4].Insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs) reduce human contact with mosquitoes and are an effective malaria prevention intervention[5]. ITNs have been shown to reduce severe disease and mortality due to malaria in endemic regions and reduce all cause mortality by approximately 20%


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