Ownership and disuse of bed nets in Kenyan children under five years of age

  • Kacey Ernst | kernst@email.arizona.edu University of Arizona, United States.
  • Mona Arora Department of Geography, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United Arab Emirates.
  • Stephen Munga Kenyan Medical Research Institute, Kisumu, Kenya.


Recent campaigns to increase the percentage of households owning a bed net have been very successful yet there remains a subset of the population who do not sleep under bed nets. We used data from the 2008 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) to compare children under the age of five years of age who slept under any bed net to children sleeping without a bed net who resided in households with: i) no bed net; ii) all bed nets used (intra-household access); and iii) at least one unused bed net. Ownership, intra-household access, and non-use of available bed nets were all associated with the child’s age and the mother’s relationship to the head of the household. Intra-household access was strongly associated with provincial residence, where the child was born and frequency of reading newspapers. Furthermore, disuse of available nets for children was associated with marital status, bed net use of the head of the household, and residing in rural communities at higher elevations. Improving bed net/long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN) use in Kenya requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses the complexity of the behavioral, social and economic drivers of non-use.



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Author Biography

Kacey Ernst, University of Arizona

Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Assistant Professor


Original Articles
bed nets, access, malaria, Kenya, ownership, disuse.
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How to Cite
Ernst, K., Arora, M., & Munga, S. (2012). Ownership and disuse of bed nets in Kenyan children under five years of age. Malaria Reports, 2(1), e1. https://doi.org/10.4081/malaria.2012.e1