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Malaria Preventive Practices among Pregnant Women in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Comparative Study

Author(s): Terhemn Kasso, Omosivie Maduka, Ibinabo Oboro, Awopeju A T O, Nsirimobu Paul, Lucy Yaguo-Ide, Ifeyinwa Chijioke-Nwauche, Mark Ogoro, Iyeopu Siminialayi, Claribel Abam, Alice Nte, Florence Nduka, Orikomaba Obunge, Chijioke Nwauche

Background: Malaria has a deleterious effect on pregnancy leading to serious pregnancy complications and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Use of effective malaria preventive practices during pregnancy mitigates the harmful effect of the disease on pregnancy.

Aim: To determine the malaria preventive practices used by pregnant women in three states (Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom) of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in public health facilities in three states of the Niger Delta, Nigeria to assess the preventive practices of pregnant women over a six month period. A total of six health facilities was selected from each state giving eighteen health facilities from the three states. Approximately 100 to 200 consenting pregnant women were recruited over a period of one to two weeks from each facility. Information was obtained with pretested questionnaires by trained personnel with the aid of Open Data Kit (ODK) on android phones. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 and results were presented in prose and frequency tables. A p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: There were 2,960 participants (mean age 29.6 ± 4.93) with 2844 (96.08%) being married. Over half 53.01% (1569) had tertiary education, majority 35.37% (1047) of them were traders and business women. Preventive practices employed included window nets use 42.3% (2059), insecticides 28.9% (1411), bed nets 27.9% (1360), and others. There were 59.14% (1100) that received medications for prevention out of which 79.83% (918) received IPTp-SP. Only 33.6% (993) slept under the net the night before the interview.

Conclusion: In the Niger Delta region, uptake of IPTp is above 70% and provided a significant prophylactic benefit compared to those that did not take. However ITN use was very low in the area whereas IRS was not in use at all. The need for continuous enlightenment and awareness of the importance of these practices especially ITN use in the study area is very imperative.

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