Myanmar is one of the 31 highest burden malaria countries worldwide. Scaling up the appropriate use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) is a national policy for malaria prevention and control. However, the data on use, influencing factors and maintenance of bed nets is still lack among the population in Kachin Special Region II (KR2), Northeastern Myanmar.
The study combined a quantitative household questionnaire survey and qualitative direct observation of households. A Chi-squared test was used to compare the percentages of ownership, coverage, and rates of use of bed nets. Additionally, multivariate logistic regression analysis (MVLRA) was used to analyse factors that influence the use of bed nets. Finally, covariance compared the mean calibrated hole indexes (MCHI) across potential influence variables.
The bed net to person ratio was 1:1.96 (i.e., more than one net for every two people). The long-lasting insecticidal net (LLIN) to person ratio was 1: 2.52. Also, the percentage of households that owned at least one bed net was 99.7% (666/688). Some 3262 (97.3%) residents slept under bed nets the prior night, 2551 (76.1%) of which slept under ITNs/LLINs the prior night (SUITNPN). The poorest families, those with thatched roofing, those who use agriculture as their main source of family income, household heads who knew that mosquitoes transmit malaria and those who used bed nets to prevent malaria, were significantly more likely to be in the SUITNPN group. However, residents in lowlands, and foothills were significantly less likely to be SUITNPNs. Finally, head of household attitude towards fixing bed nets influenced MCHI (F=8.09, P=0.0046).
The coverage and usage rates of bed nets were high, especially among children, and pregnant women. Family wealth index, geographical zones, household roofing, source of family income, household head's knowledge of malaria transmission and of using bed nets as tools for malaria prevention are all independent factors which influence use of ITNs/LLINs in KR2. Maintaining high coverage, and use rate of bed nets should be a priority for the war-torn population of KR2 to ensure equity and human rights.