Long-lasting insecticidal net use and malaria parasitaemia among household members of laboratory-confirmed malaria patients attending health facilities - Abuja, Nigeria, 2016

Background: In Nigeria, malaria remains a major killer; largely due to poor reduction of transmission. There is the presupposition that household members could have common exposure to malaria parasite and non-use of long lasting insecticidal net (LLIN) could enhance transmission. This study was conducted to identify factors associated with malaria parasitaemia and LLIN use among households of confirmed malaria patients in Abuja, Nigeria.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted from March to August 2016 among 602 household members of 107 malaria patients attending health facilities in Abuja. Data on LLIN ownership, utilization, and house characteristics were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Blood samples of household members were examined for malaria parasitaemia using microscopy. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square, and logistic regression (α=0.05).

Results: Median age of respondents was 16.5 years (Interquartile range: 23 years); 55.0% were females. Prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia among study participants was 69.9%; 44.8% and 33.6% households owned and used at least one LLIN, respectively. Parasitaemia was detected in at least one household member of 102 patients. No association existed between LLIN use and malaria parasitaemia (Odds ratio: 1.2, 95% Confidence interval (CI): 0.7-1.8). Individuals with bushes around their homes had increased odds (adjusted OR (aOR): 2.1, CI: 1.4-3.3) of having malaria parasitaemia. Living in houses with uncovered water receptacles was associated with LLIN use (aOR: 2.3, CI :1.3 - 4.0).

Conclusion: High prevalence of asymptomatic malaria and low use of LLIN among household members of malaria patients portend the risk of intra-household common source of malaria transmission. We recommend household health education on LLIN use and environmental management. Study to explore the role of preventive treatment of household members of confirmed malaria patient in curbing transmission is suggested.

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