Factors Affecting Use Of Insecticide Treated Nets By Children Under Five Years Of Age In Kenya
Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and it mostly affects pregnant women and children under five years of age. It is among the leading cause of deaths in under fives with an approximate of 20 percent of all deaths in Kenya. The World Health Organization recommends the use of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) and Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) for prevention of malaria infection. Although several studies have analysed the accessibility, availability, ownership and utilization of ITNs by children less than five years of age, few studies have examined the intra-household factors that influence utilization of ITNs by children less than five years of age. This study investigated the factors that influence use of ITNs and LLINs by under fives across the country using a binary logit approach. The regression results showed that age of household head, household size, gender of child and household head, presence of fever in a child 2 weeks prior to the survey treatment of net since acquisition significantly affected use of ITNs. The study concludes that these factors hinder use of ITNs by children under five years and therefore presence of an ITN in a household may not guarantee utilisation. The study recommends that efforts be made to increase awareness on the importance of ensuring children under five years sleep under an ITN if reduction in morbidity and mortality in this age group is to be reduced.