Malaria Journal (Aug 2021)
Predictors of knowledge and use of long-lasting insecticidal nets for the prevention of malaria among the pregnant women in Pakistan
Abstract Background Malaria is endemic to Pakistan with high prevalence among pregnant women and linked with maternal anaemia, intrauterine growth retardation, preterm birth, and low birth weight. The use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) is a proven and cost-effective intervention preventing malaria among pregnant women. The present study aimed to explore predictors of knowledge and use of LLINs among pregnant women in Pakistan. Methods This was part of a quasi-experimental study of 200 pregnant women conducted in a rural district of Sindh province in Pakistan. Data were collected using Malaria Indicator Survey questionnaires developed by Roll Back Malaria Partnership to end Malaria Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group. Pregnant women and mothers with newborns of six months of age were interviewed in their homes. Results The age of the women was from 18 to 45, two thirds of the respondents (72.5%) were uneducated and married (77%). Majority (92%) of the women had received antenatal care during pregnancy, and 29.5% women had received counseling on malaria during their antenatal care visits. Multiple linear regression showed that the type of latrine was the most significant (β = 0.285, p < 0.001) determinant of knowledge about malaria among pregnant women followed by the death of a newborn (β = 0.271, p < 0.001). The use of mobile phone was the most significant (β = 0.247, p < 0.001) predictor of usage of LLINs among pregnant women followed by the death of a newborn (β = 0.232, p < 0.05). Conclusions Maternal education, type of latrine, use of mobile phone, malaria during previous pregnancy and newborn death were strong predictors of knowledge and use of LLINs in pregnant women in Pakistan. There is a need to scale-up programmes that aim to create awareness regarding malaria among pregnant women. Mobile phone technology can be used to implement awareness programmes focusing on malaria prevention among women.