Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Solomon Okosun

Second Advisor

Dr. Sheryl Strasser

Abstract

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Malaria remains a big challenge in Africa where 45 countries, including Nigeria, are endemic for the disease. Pregnant women living in malaria-endemic countries are of interest because of the reduced immunity during pregnancy. Reports show that malaria control efforts by the government and other programs like Roll Back Malaria might not be effective due to limited resources. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the knowledge of pregnant Nigerian women regarding malaria and their behavior towards the use of bed net as a method for malaria control. Specifically, this study examined the effect of malaria knowledge on the use of bed net among pregnant Nigerian women. This study will provide insight for a further study.

METHODS: The study was conducted at the Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. The study population consisted of 61 pregnant women that attended the antenatal care clinic. Questionnaires were given to women who gave their consent and the questionnaires were self administered.

RESULTS: The pregnant women had very good knowledge of the general knowledge on malaria. However, the amount of pregnant women who choose the correct answer reduced with questions pertaining to malaria’s effect on the mother and fetus health. General knowledge had no effect on bed net use but the more knowledgeable the pregnant women were in regards to how malaria affected the mother’s health and fetus’ health, the more likely they were to use bed net. In this study, 73% of the women used bed net.

Conclusion: In this study, the use of bed net was higher than other studies and this might have been due to bed nets been distributed at the clinic. Even though many of the women used bed net and other preventive measures, about 56% of the pregnant women had experienced malaria during their current pregnancy. General knowledge on malaria did not seem to affect bed net use; however, knowledge on the consequences of malaria affected bed net use. The pregnant women who had the knowledge of how malaria affected the fetus were more likely to use bed net. For programs like Roll Back Malaria and other government programs to reduce the mortality and morbidity rate due to malaria, it will be beneficial to provide the pregnant women tailored information about the health consequences of malaria and how malaria affects the mother and the fetus.

KEY WORDS: Malaria, Pregnant women, Knowledge, Bed Net, Nigeria

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