Malaria Journal 2021; 20(1): 336 -

Coverage, determinants of use and repurposing of long-lasting insecticidal nets two years after a mass distribution in Lihir Islands, Papua New Guinea: a cross-sectional study.

Millat-Martínez P, Gabong R, Balanza N, Luana S, Sanz S, Raulo S, Elizah A, Wali C, Paivu B, Dalmas J, Tabie S, Karl S, Laman M, Pomat W, Mitjà O, Baro B, Bassat Q
Universal coverage with long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) is an essential component of malaria control programmes. Three-yearly mass distribution of LLINs in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been successful in reducing infection transmission since 2009, but malaria prevalence ramped up from 2015 onwards. Although LLIN universal coverage is mostly achieved during these campaigns, it may not be related with net use over time. Uses given to LLINs and non-compliance of this strategy were evaluated.A knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) cross-sectional study was conducted in Lihir Islands, PNG, 2-2.5 years after the last LLIN mass distribution campaign. Data on bed net ownership, use and maintenance behaviour was collected using a household questionnaire administered by trained community volunteers. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with owning at least one LLIN and sleeping under a LLIN the previous night.Among 2694 households surveyed, 27.4 % (95 % CI: 25.8-29.2) owned at least one LLIN and 8.7 % (95 % CI: 7.6-9.8) had an adequate LLIN coverage (at least one LLIN for every two people). Out of 13,595 individuals in the surveyed households, 13.6 % (95 % CI: 13.0--4.2) reported having slept under a LLIN the preceding night. Determinants for sleeping under LLIN included living in a household with adequate LLIN coverage [adjusted OR (aOR) = 5.82 (95 % CI: 3.23-10.49)], household heads knowledge about LLINs [aOR = 16.44 (95 % CI: 8.29-32.58)], and female gender [aOR = 1.92 (95 % CI: 1.53-2.40)] (all p-values < 0.001). LLIN use decreased with older age [aOR = 0.29 (95 % CI: 0.21-0.40) for ≥ 15 year-olds, aOR = 0.38 (95 % CI: 0.27-0.55) for 5-14 year-olds] compared to < 5 year-olds (p-value < 0.001). Knowledge on the use of LLIN was good in 37.0 % of the household heads. Repurposed nets were reported serving as fishing nets (30.4 %), fruits and seedlings protection (26.6 %), covering up food (19.0 %) and bed linen (11.5 %).Two years after mass distribution, LLIN coverage and use in Lihir Islands is extremely low. Three yearly distribution campaigns may not suffice to maintain an acceptable LLIN coverage unless knowledge on maintenance and use is promoted trough educational campaigns.© 2021. The Author(s).