Background: The coverage of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) remains low despite existing distribution strategies, hence it was important to assess consumers' preferences for distribution of ITNs, as well as their perceptions and expenditures for malaria prevention and examine the implications for scaling-up ITNs in rural Nigeria.
Methods: Nine focus group discussions FGDs) and questionnaires to 798 respondents from three malaria hyper-endemic villages from Enugu state, south-east Nigeria were the study tools.
Results: There was a broad spectrum of malaria preventive tools that are being used by the people. The average monthly expenditure on malaria prevention per household was 55.55 Naira ($0.4). More than 80% of the respondents had never purchased any form of untreated mosquito net. The people mostly preferred community members to undertake centralised community-based sales of the ITNS, with instalment payments.
Conclusions: The people were knowledgeable about malaria and the beneficial effects of using nets to protect themselves from the disease. The mostly preferred community-based distribution of ITNs implies that the strategy is a potential untapped additional channel for scaling-up ITNs in Nigeria and possibly other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
Malaria Journal (2005) 4 (29) [doi:10.1186/1475-2875-4-29]