Background: Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are a key malaria control intervention. Although LLINs are presumed to be effective for 3 years under field or programmatic conditions, net care and repair approaches by users influence the physical and chemical durability. Understanding how knowledge, perception and practices influence net care and repair practices could guide the development of targeted behavioural change communication interventions related to net care and repair in Ethiopia and elsewhere.
Methods: This population-based, household survey was conducted in four regions of Ethiopia [Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, Southern Nations Nationalities Peoples Region (SNNPR)] in June 2015. A total of 1839 households were selected using multi-stage sampling procedures. The household respondents were the heads of households. A questionnaire was administered and the data were captured electronically. STATA software version 12 was used to analyse the data. Survey commands were used to account for the multi-stage sampling approach. Household descriptive statistics related to characteristics and levels of knowledge and perception on net care and repair are presented. Ordinal logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with net care and repair perceptions.
Results: Less than a quarter of the respondents (22.3%: 95% CI 20.4-24.3%) reported adequate knowledge of net care and repair; 24.6% (95% CI 22.7-26.5%) of the respondents reported receiving information on net care and repair in the previous 6 months. Thirty-five per cent of the respondents (35.1%: 95% CI 32.9-37.4%) reported positive perceptions towards net care and repair. Respondents with adequate knowledge on net care and repair (AOR 1.58: 95% CI 1.2-2.02), and those who discussed net care and repair with their family (AOR 1.47: 95% CI 1.14-1.89) had higher odds of having positive perceptions towards net care and repair.
Conclusions: The low level of reported knowledge on net care and repair, as well as the low level of reported positive perception towards net repair need to be addressed. Targeted behavioural change communication campaigns could be used to target specific groups; increased net care and repair would lead to longer lasting nets.
Keywords: Ethiopia; Knowledge; LLIN; Net care and repair; Perception.