Effectiveness of insecticide treated nets in reducing Malaria morbidity among school going children in Kenya
Malaria is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Kenya. It can have a devastating effect on children's education. Repeated infections cause children to miss large periods of school. Anaemia, a side-effect of frequent Malaria attacks, causes chronic fatigue and interferes with children's ability to concentrate and learn. Use of IINs for protection against Malaria bites has been the primary vector control method used in Kenya. Secondary data analysis was done on KMIS 2010 data which was a cross-sectional survey, a sample of all districts in Kenya. This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of Malaria and investigate the effect of ITN use in Malaria prevention among school going children in Kenya. Malaria prevalence was highest among the 5-9 year olds with 40.27% while 29.55% were those between 10-14 years old. Malaria prevalence was very high in the Lake endemic region at 86.79%. Other factors that affected Malaria prevalence significantly were household wealth index quintile and mother's highest education level. Despite ITN ownership in this study being at 64.88%, ITN utilization however remained low at 39.34% among those owning the ITNs. ITN utilization notably declined with age. Majority of ITN users were the under fives 40.46%, those aged 5- 9years at 30.62% and 21.92% for the 10-14 year olds. There is need for continued mass ITN distribution campaigns, to include the school going children where the bulk of the children population is, paired with sensitization on the importance of ITN ownership and utilization in order to maximize on their protective role against Malaria.