11.6 Proper and sustained use of ITNs
To give the required protection, ITNs need to be used properly and regularly. One of the biggest challenges for the ITN programme in Ethiopia, and in many other African countries, is to ensure proper and consistent use of ITNs. A malaria indicator survey (MIS) conducted in Ethiopia in 2007 showed that, despite a national ITN coverage rate of 68% of households in malaria-risk areas, less than 50% of the people who have nets slept under an ITN. The MIS results also showed that many people do not understand how malaria is transmitted, or why ITNs are important for malaria prevention.
Understanding how malaria is transmitted, and why it is important to sleep under ITNs, is important for people to change their behaviour. This needs education. Mass media and education materials such as posters and banners can provide information and create awareness about the need to use ITNs correctly. Personal messages from you are even more effective.