User-determined end of net life in Senegal: a qualitative assessment of decision-making related to the retirement of expired netsReport as inadecuate

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Malaria Journal

, 12:337

First Online: 22 September 2013Received: 19 July 2013Accepted: 17 September 2013


BackgroundProcurement and distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets LLINs in the African region has decreased from 145 million in 2010 to 66 million nets in 2012. As resources for LLIN distribution appear to stagnate, it is important to understand the users’ perception of the life span of a net and at what point and why they stop using it. In order to get the most value out of distributed nets and to ensure that they are used for as long as possible, programmes must communicate to users about how to assess useful net life and how to extend it.

MethodsData were collected from 114 respondents who participated in 56 in-depth interviews IDIs and eight focus group discussions FGDs in August 2012 in eight regions in Senegal. Households were eligible for the study if they owned at least one net and had an available household member over the age of 18. Data were coded by a team of four coders in ATLAS.ti using a primarily deductive approach.

ResultsRespondents reported assessing useful net life using the following criteria: the age of net, the number and size of holes and the presence of mosquitoes in the net at night. If they had the means to do so, many respondents preferred the acquisition of a new net rather than the continued use of a very torn net. However, respondents would preferentially use newer nets, saving older, but useable nets for the future or sharing them with family or friends. Participants reported observing alternative uses of nets, primarily for nets that were considered expired.

ConclusionsThe results indicate that decisions regarding the end of net life vary among community members in Senegal, but are primarily related to net integrity. Additional research is needed into user-determined end of net life as well as care and repair behaviours, which could extend useful net life. The results from this study and from future research on this topic should be used to understand current behaviours and develop communication programmes to prolong the useful life of nets.

KeywordsMalaria Senegal LLIN ITN Bed nets Qualitative Net life span  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Dana K Loll - Sara Berthe - Sylvain Landry Faye - Issa Wone - Hannah Koenker - Bethany Arnold - Rachel Weber


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