Introduction: The main target of long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) distribution in Nigeria is to have at least 80% of households in rural communities own two or more LLINs and children under five and pregnant women sleep inside LLINs. Objectives: To determine access and usage of LLINs by women of reproductive age and under five children in rural communities of Benue State. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study in which a structured questionnaire was administered to 420 respondents (household head). Four Local Government Areas (LGA) - Konshisha, Kwande, Obi and Okpokwu and a total of seventeen settlements were sampled based on set criteria: hard to reach communities with cultural and seasonal barriers. We selected households were selected based on the presence of under - five children in such households using a systematic random sampling technique. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS version 23 and results were presented in frequencies and percentages. Results: Ninety three percent of the respondents used LLIN. Households had one (6%), two (26%), three (20%) and four (21%) bed-nets. The majority of the bed-nets were obtained from government hospitals (60%), mass campaign (30%) and open market (6%). Of those that used bed-nets regularly, 75% were male. The age distribution of net users was 0-59 months (67%), 6-14 years (8%) and 15-49 years (25%). Conclusion: Access to bed-net was high however; regular usage among the female population was low. We recommend that advocacy on bed-net usage should be targeted at women of child bearing age.
Justice Adaji and Obi Ekpeme Gabriel