Background: While the distribution of mosquito bed nets is a widely adopted approach for malaria prevention, studies exploring how the usage of a net may be influenced by its source and other factors remain sparse. Methods: A standardized questionnaire and home-visit observations were used to collect data from 9 villages in Budondo sub-county, Uganda in 2016. Household- and individual-level data were collected, such as bed net ownership (at least one net versus none), acquirement source (free versus purchased), demographics, as well as knowledge of malaria and preventative measures. Net-level data, including alternative uses, and bed net quantity and integrity, were also collected. Mixed effects logistic regression models were performed to identify the key determinants of bed net use. Results: Overall, the proportion of households with at least one bed net was 40%, while bed net availability was only reported among 27% of all household members. Awareness of the benefits of bed net use was statistically significantly associated with ownership of at least one net (OR = 1.72, 95% CI 1.11-2.68, p = 0.02). Among those who own net(s), the odds of a bed net being correctly used (i.e., to sleep under) after adjusting for potential confounders were significantly lower for nets that were obtained free compared to nets that were purchased by the owners themselves (OR = 0.33, 95% CI 0.21-0.51, p < 0.01), resulting in an alternative use of the net. Other factors such as female gender, children ≤ 5 years old, and pregnancy status were also significantly associated with having a net to sleep under (all p < 0.01). Conclusion: Understanding inter- and intra-household net-use factors will help malaria control programmes more effectively direct their efforts to increase public health impact. Future studies may additionally consider socioeconomic status and track the lifetime of the net.
- Long-last insecticidal nets