Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Health Services


Maria C. Rangel


Malaria is a mosquito transmitted tropical disease that accounts for more cases and deaths in Nigeria than in any other country worldwide. Globally malaria accounts for 300,000 deaths among young children and pregnant women annually. The promotion of the use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) to reduce pregnant women's contact with mosquitoes has been the focus of malaria prevention efforts in Nigeria. However, the use of ITNs during pregnancy has been inexplicably low in Nigeria. A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted to examine barriers to the utilization of ITNs among pregnant women in rural Nigeria. The social ecological model was utilized to analyze secondary data from a 2015 survey conducted in Nigeria in which 4,834 pregnant women between 15 to 49 years of age participated. The relationship between the use of ITNs and the knowledge of ITNs, traditional medicine, education, and family income was examined using multiple logistic regression modeling. Results showed that there was a significant relationship between the knowledge of ITN (p = 0.000), family income (p = 0.000), education of pregnant women (p = 0.000) and the use of ITN among pregnant women in rural Nigeria. However, there was no relationship between the use of traditional medicine (p = >0.5), and the use of ITN, perhaps because most of the women surveyed did not respond to the question about use of traditional medicine. Results of the study have important implications for positive social changes among pregnant women in Nigeria. These findings will inform strategies to increase the uptake of ITNs during pregnancy in Nigeria, improving birth outcomes, increasing maternal and child survival, and decreasing the economic burden due to malaria morbidity and mortality in rural Nigeria.