Global efforts to reduce malaria burden include distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets through mass campaigns and routine channels. Ghana’s National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) distributes insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) through various channels, including to pregnant women at antenatal care (ANC) visits and children at vaccination visits through child welfare clinics (CWC). This study assessed historical ITN distribution throughout ANCs and CWCs across Ghana and the characteristics of high performing facilities.
Monthly data on routine ITN distribution was provided from Ghana’s national health information management system for the years 2016–2021. Analyses were conducted to assess the performance of ITN distribution at ANC and CWC across time, ecological zone, regions, districts, facility ownership, and facility type. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were performed to predict the odds of ANC and CWC issuing rates greater or equal to 80% for a given facility type or ownership.
In 2021, 93% of women who attended their first antenatal care visit and 92% of children under five who received their second dose of the measles-rubella vaccine (MR2) had received an ITN. At the regional level, 94% of regions (n = 15/16) maintained the NSP target issuing rate of 80% throughout 2020 and 2021. While there were no clear differences in issuing rates between ecological zones, district-level differences were present across the six years. All health facility types performed at or above 80% in 2021 for both ANC and CWC. Odds ratios demonstrated differences in the likelihood of meeting the 80% issuing rate goal among different facility types as well as private versus public ownership when comparing ANC and CWC.
By 2021, Ghana had improved its ITN issuing rates since the initial year of analysis, surpassing the 80% target by issuing nets to over 90% of pregnant women and young children attending ANC and CWC. Future work can explore the reasons for national and subnational differences in issuing rates as well as help understand additional characteristics of high performing facilities. Additionally, it is necessary to identify and expand on the drivers for improved performance over the time period.