Date of Conferral
Shanna L. Barnett
Malaria is a vector-borne disease that presents the most persistent and serious public health burden in Liberia. Numerous studies have examined the relationship between ITN use and malaria prevalence. However, little research has explored the effectiveness of ITNs in controlling malaria among children in postwar Liberia. The aim of this study was to examine the association between ITN ownership, parental economic status, ITN installation support, and malaria prevalence among children. This was a quantitative cross-sectional study guided by the health belief model. The study used secondary data from the 2011 Liberia Malaria Indicator Survey. Chi-square for association and Logistic regression were used to analyze the data. The results revealed a significant association between parental education and malaria prevalence. There was also a significant association between parental economic status and malaria prevalence. However, there was no significant association between ITN ownership and malaria prevalence after controlling for parental education and ownership of structure. These findings may foster social change by helping public health authorities in Liberia integrate ITN use with other strategies like mosquito larvae elimination and indoor/outdoor insecticide spraying as part of a comprehensive approach to malaria control. Additionally, massive awareness and economic capacity building should be undertaken to empower malaria endemic communities with the understanding that malaria can be rapidly reduced with other robust strategies in combination with ITN use. These strategies, if implemented, may effectively control malaria prevalence among children and the emotional and financial burdens endure by their families.