Malaria in pregnancy is one of the major disease burdens of public health significance in sub-Saharan Africa. Comprehensive preventive strategy including intermittent preventive treatment and effective use of insecticide treated bed nets has been recommended among pregnant women in endemic regions. However the extent to which these preventive strategies are utilized are not fully explored among pregnant women living in controlled environments like the military barracks. This cross-sectional study explored the practices relating to Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITNs) and Intermittent Preventive Treatment using Sulfadoxine Pyrimethamine (IPT-SP) for the prevention of malaria among 420 purposively selected pregnant women from households in Odogbo and Mokola army barracks, Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria. Data were collected using a validated questionnaire, which contained a nine-point knowledge scale. Data were analysed using descriptive and Chi-square statistics. Mean age was 29.3±6.0 years and mean knowledge score was 8.3±1.8. Forty-nine percent of respondents had heard about SP, 17.5% knew the correct dose of IPT-SP, 31.8% had ever used SP and only 10.5% were aware of the stage of pregnancy at which SP should be initiated. Most (92.3%) respondents had heard about ITNs and 76.7% owned one. Almost 60% of respondents prevented malaria with ITNs, 17.8% used insecticide sprays alone, 15.0% used SP while 2.5% used both insecticide sprays and ITNs. Other preventive measures adopted by respondents included environmental control (4.0%) and use of mosquito coils (2.8%). Public enlightenment, advocacy and community mobilization activities are needed in the barracks to improve utilization of malaria prevention strategies among pregnant women.
Key words: Malaria in pregnancy, malaria preventive practices, insecticide treated nets, Sulfadoxine pyrimethamine.
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