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Factors associated with mosquito net use by individuals in households owning nets in Ethiopia

Patricia M Graves110*, Jeremiah M Ngondi12, Jimee Hwang34, Asefaw Getachew5, Teshome Gebre116, Aryc W Mosher1, Amy E Patterson1, Estifanos B Shargie67, Zerihun Tadesse68, Adam Wolkon3, Richard Reithinger9, Paul M Emerson1 and Frank O Richards1

Author Affiliations

1 The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA, USA

2 University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

4 Global Health Group, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA

5 MACEPA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

6 The Carter Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

7 Strategic Information Team, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Chemin de Blandonnet 8, Geneva, 1214, Vernier, Switzerland

8 Federal Ministry of Health, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

9 US Agency for International Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

10 School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Molecular Sciences, PO Box 6811, Cairns Qld 4870, Australia

11 International Trachoma Initiative, The Task Force for Global Health, Ethio-China Friendship Road, Dire Dawa Building, 5th Floor, Room 301, PO Box 10001, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Malaria Journal 2011, 10:354  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-10-354

Published: 13 December 2011



Ownership of insecticidal mosquito nets has dramatically increased in Ethiopia since 2006, but the proportion of persons with access to such nets who use them has declined. It is important to understand individual level net use factors in the context of the home to modify programmes so as to maximize net use.


Generalized linear latent and mixed models (GLLAMM) were used to investigate net use using individual level data from people living in net-owning households from two surveys in Ethiopia: baseline 2006 included 12,678 individuals from 2,468 households and a sub-sample of the Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) in 2007 included 14,663 individuals from 3,353 households. Individual factors (age, sex, pregnancy); net factors (condition, age, net density); household factors (number of rooms [2006] or sleeping spaces [2007], IRS, women's knowledge and school attendance [2007 only], wealth, altitude); and cluster level factors (rural or urban) were investigated in univariate and multi-variable models for each survey.


In 2006, increased net use was associated with: age 25-49 years (adjusted (a) OR = 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-1.7) compared to children U5; female gender (aOR = 1.4; 95% CI 1.2-1.5); fewer nets with holes (Ptrend = 0.002); and increasing net density (Ptrend < 0.001). Reduced net use was associated with: age 5-24 years (aOR = 0.2; 95% CI 0.2-0.3). In 2007, increased net use was associated with: female gender (aOR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.1-1.6); fewer nets with holes (aOR [all nets in HH good] = 1.6; 95% CI 1.2-2.1); increasing net density (Ptrend < 0.001); increased women's malaria knowledge (Ptrend < 0.001); and urban clusters (aOR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.5-4.1). Reduced net use was associated with: age 5-24 years (aOR = 0.3; 95% CI 0.2-0.4); number of sleeping spaces (aOR [per additional space] = 0.6, 95% CI 0.5-0.7); more old nets (aOR [all nets in HH older than 12 months] = 0.5; 95% CI 0.3-0.7); and increasing household altitude (Ptrend < 0.001).


In both surveys, net use was more likely by women, if nets had fewer holes and were at higher net per person density within households. School-age children and young adults were much less likely to use a net. Increasing availability of nets within households (i.e. increasing net density), and improving net condition while focusing on education and promotion of net use, especially in school-age children and young adults in rural areas, are crucial areas for intervention to ensure maximum net use and consequent reduction of malaria transmission.

Malaria; Mosquito net; Ethiopia; GLLAMM; Survey; Net use