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Malaria Research and Treatment
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8727131, 8 pages
Research Article

Maternal Attitudes about Objectively Monitored Bednet Use in Rural Uganda

1Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
2Department of Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
3Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
4Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda
5Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech), Mbarara, Uganda
6Oregon Health Sciences University and Portland State University School of Public Health, Portland, OR, USA

Received 11 May 2016; Revised 17 September 2016; Accepted 25 September 2016

Academic Editor: Robert Novak

Copyright © 2016 Paul J. Krezanoski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) are a mainstay of malaria prevention, yet poor adherence poses a major barrier to effective prevention. Self-reports of bednet use suffer from recall and social desirability biases. We have designed a device that electronically records ITN usage longitudinally. SmartNet consists of circuits made from a conductive fabric interwoven into the sides and top of a rectangular ITN. Digital sampling of the state of these circuits allows for determining whether the SmartNet is deployed for use or folded up. We conducted a study among pregnant women and women with children <5 years in Uganda to determine attitudes about objective bednet monitoring and SmartNet. Fifty women were interviewed with an average age of 27 years and 2.3 children. Twenty-two percent were pregnant. Ninety-five percent had used a bednet and 90% reported having a bednet at home. After displaying a SmartNet, 92% thought it would be easy to use and 100% expressed interest in using SmartNet. Concerns about SmartNet included washing the net, worries about being monitored while asleep, and worries about users removing the device components. Objective monitoring of ITN use appears to be acceptable among women in rural Uganda, setting the stage for further SmartNet field testing.