Communication channels influencing utilization of Insecticide treated bednets in rural communities of Kisumu Town East District, Kenya
Otieno, Linet A
MetadataShow full item record
Communication is the transfer of information from a source to a recipient through a channel. Most people accept or reject information depending on how it is transmitted. Each year, there are approximately 350-500 million cases of malaria globally. In Kenya, 35,000 children under five years of age die of malaria. Insecticide treated bednets (ITNs) have been proven to be effective preventive measures against malaria. Despite being distributed freely in Kenyan health facilities, only 52% of children under five and 37% of pregnant women use bednets. There has been continued social marketing of ITNs but these, most households in Africa particularly lower-income households - do not own mosquito nets. The purpose of this study was to determine the communication channels influencing utilization of ITNs in rural communities of Kadero sub-location, Kisumu Town East district, Kenya. The main reason for carrying out the study in the area is because Nyanza, where Kadero sub-location falls is a malaria endemic area. The study adopted a cross- sectional. survey design and used quantitative approaches to collect data. Questionnaires were administered to the sampled population of 260 who were between the ages of 16 and 65 in Kadero sub-location from the overall population of 6,452. Data was entered through the SPSS 18.0 and analyzed, interpreted and presented. Data from the study was analyzed through use of frequencies and percentages. Out of the 247 interviewed, only 75 (30.8%) use or sleep under ITNs. In addition, Majority of the people (44.1 %) are unemployed. Of all the respondents interviewed, majority of the respondents cited Local radio stations (36.0%) as the channel that is most commonly used to promote ITNs messages. In conclusion, most of the residents of Kadero sub-location are aware of the causes, signs and symptoms, prevention measures and treatment of malaria. Despite this knowledge, a very small percentage used ITNs. They cited cost and lack of information as the two reasons why they did not use ITNs. Information about ITNs has not been passed effectively to the people in the rural areas. The respondents indicated that they would prefer local radio stations and verbal communication through health officials. However, most of the current information about ITNs is currently passed through posters, television and national radio stations which are not very effective in passing on this information. This could be why most people still do not use ITNs. FoIIowing the completion of the study, there is need to strengthen access to local radio stations to disseminate ITNs information. For improved ITNs use, it is important to also encourage vernacular radio stations to promote ITNs information especially key messages like the sources of ITNs which are currently not being promoted. It is important to further look at the communication channels that can be used to promote ITNs in the urban and peri-urban areas as well as cost implications in the promotion of ITNs in the rural areas.