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Use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) following a malaria education intervention in Piron, Mali: a control trial with systematic allocation of households

Michelle Rhee1*, Mahamadou Sissoko2, Sharon Perry1, Willi McFarland3, Julie Parsonnet1 and Ogobara Doumbo2

Author Affiliations

1 Health Research and Policy Department, Stanford Medical School, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

2 Malaria Research and Training Centre, Department of Epidemiology of Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Odonto-Stomatology, University of Bamako Mali, P.O. Box 1805, Bamako, Mali

3 San Francisco Department of Public Health, Suite 500, 25 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

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Malaria Journal 2005, 4:35  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-4-35

Published: 25 July 2005



Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) reduce malaria morbidity and mortality, but use is limited. A barrier to ITN use may be lack of knowledge regarding malaria transmission and prevention. This study is a controlled trial comparing ITN use and malaria knowledge levels between households in Piron, Mali, undertaken in 2003.


Households received net impregnation services either with or without antecedent education. The main outcome measure was ITN use, defined as impregnation of at least one of the household's existing bednets with insecticide during the study. Knowledge about malaria and prevention practices was assessed pre- and post- educational intervention. Results were analysed by household and by individual.


Forty-nine percent (34/70) of households who received the educational component impregnated their nets in comparison to 35% (22/62) of households who did not (OR = 1.6 CI = 0.8–3.3, P = 0.19). In individual analysis, ITN use was significantly greater in participants who had received the educational intervention (48%) vs. individuals who did not (33%, OR = 1.9, P = 0.012). Knowledge levels about malaria significantly increased for each individual pre- versus post- educational intervention (average change score = 2.13, standard deviation = 1.97, t = -17.78, P < 0.001), although there was no difference found between educational (change score = 2.14) and control groups (change score = 2.12).


It is possible to educate individuals about malaria and to implement net impregnation services with limited resources. Greater accessibility to net-impregnation services is necessary but not sufficient to increase ITN use.