Householders’ perception about sustaining the useful life of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets in Ghana

Robert OPOKU, Padmore Adusei AMOAH*, Kingsley Atta MYAMEKYE

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

Background
This article explores the multifaceted perceptions among householders about the care, efficacy and disposal of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs), especially those regarding the end of the useful life of LLINs, and their implications for malaria control.

Methods
We used a cross-sectional qualitative design. Data were gathered in the Shai-Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana using focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. A thematic analysis technique was applied to analyse the data.

Results
Four findings emerged. First, participants were familiar with LLINs and the issues concerning the end of their useful life. However, the application of this knowledge was deficient. Second, characteristics of effectiveness (e.g. torn beyond repair) other than the age of a net determined the end of the useful life of LLINs. Third, social desirability and other social practices had positive and negative influences on perceptions about LLIN use and the end of their useful life. Fourth, repurposing of LLINs signified the end of their useful life.

Conclusions
Policies and strategies to position LLIN use as the leading resource for malaria control need to be innovative to accommodate the perceptions and practices of targeted households.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

The authors are grateful to Dr Collins Stephen Kwaku Ahorlu, who supervised the initial project on which this article is based.

Ethical approval was secured from the Ghana Health Services Ethical Review Committee (GHS-ERC: 139/02/17). Permission was sought from the District Director of Health Service and chiefs (traditional leaders) in each community before the study. Respondents were informed about the purpose of the study in the local language Dangme and written consent was obtained from each participant. Before each FGD and interview, an information sheet was read to each person or group of people to explain the objectives of the study, benefits and risks and their freedom to participate or not, as well as information on confidentiality of the data to be gathered and their rights as participants in the study.

Keywords

  • malaria
  • long-lasting insecticide-treated nets
  • perception
  • social practices
  • end of useful life
  • Ghana

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