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A qualitative study on caretakers' perceived need of bed-nets after reduced malaria transmission in Zanzibar, Tanzania
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2012 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 12, 606- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The elimination of malaria in Zanzibar is highly dependent on sustained effective coverage of bed-nets to avoid malaria resurgence. The Health Belief Model (HBM) framework was used to explore the perceptions of malaria and bed-net use after a noticeable reduction in malaria incidence. Methods: Nineteen in-depth interviews were conducted with female and male caretakers of children under five in North A district, Zanzibar. Deductive content analysis was used to identify meaning units that were condensed, coded and assigned to pre-determined elements of the HBM. Results: Awareness of malaria among caretakers was high but the illness was now seen as easily curable and uncommon. In addition to the perceived advantage of providing protection against malaria, bed-nets were also thought to be useful for avoiding mosquito nuisance, especially during the rainy season when the malaria and mosquito burden is high. The discomfort of sleeping under a net during the hot season was the main barrier that interrupted consistent bed-net usage. The main cue to using a bed-net was high mosquito density, and children were prioritized when it came to bed-net usage. Caretakers had high perceived self-efficacy and did not find it difficult to use bed-nets. Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), which was recognized as an additional means of mosquito prevention, was not identified as an alternative for bed-nets. A barrier to net ownership was the increasingly high cost of bed-nets. Conclusions: Despite the reduction in malaria incidence and the resulting low malaria risk perceptions among caretakers, the benefit of bed-nets as the most proficient protection against mosquito bites upholds their use. This, in combination with the perceived high self-efficacy of caretakers, supports bed-net usage, while seasonality interrupts consistent use. High effective coverage of bed-nets could be further improved by reinforcing the benefits of bed-nets, addressing the seasonal heat barrier by using nets with larger mesh sizes and ensuring high bed-net ownership rates through sustainable and affordable delivery mechanisms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 12, 606- p.
Keyword [en]
Sub-Saharan Africa, Zanzibar, Malaria, Bed-nets, LLINs, Health belief model, Qualitative
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-81556DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-606ISI: 000308536600001OAI: diva2:563337


Available from: 2012-10-29 Created: 2012-10-25 Last updated: 2012-10-29Bibliographically approved

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