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Associations between the use of insecticide-treated nets in early childhood and educational outcomes, marriage and child-bearing in early adulthood: evidence from a 22-year prospective cohort study in Tanzania

Mrema, S. and Okumu, F. and Schellenberg, J. and Fink, G.. (2023) Associations between the use of insecticide-treated nets in early childhood and educational outcomes, marriage and child-bearing in early adulthood: evidence from a 22-year prospective cohort study in Tanzania. Malar J, 22. p. 134.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) in preventing malaria in young children is well established. However, the long-term effects of early childhood ITN use on educational outcomes, fertility, and marriage in early adulthood are not well understood. METHODS: This study uses 22 years of longitudinal data from rural Tanzania to investigate the associations between early life ITN use and educational attainment, fertility and marriage in early adulthood. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models were used to estimate the associations between early life ITN use and early adult outcomes (education, childbearing, and marriage), controlling for potential confounders, such as parental education, household asset quintiles, and year of birth. Analyses were conducted separately for men and women. RESULTS: A total of 6706 participants born between 1998 and 2000 were enrolled in the study between 1998 and 2003. By 2019 a total of 604 had died and a further 723 could not be found, leaving 5379 participants who were interviewed, among whom complete data were available for 5216. Among women, sleeping under a treated net at least half of the time during early childhood ["high ITN use"] was associated with a 13% increase in the odds of completing primary school (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.13 [0.85, 1.50]) and with a 40% increase in the odds of completing secondary school (aOR 1.40 [1.11, 1.76]) compared with women sleeping less frequently under ITNs in early life (< age 5 years). Among men, high ITN use was associated with a 50% increase in the odds of completing primary school (aOR 1.50 [1.18, 1.92]) and a 56% increase in the odds of completing secondary school (aOR 1.56 [1.16, 2.08]) compared to men with low ITN use in early life. Weaker associations were found between ITN use in early life and both adolescent childbearing (aOR 0.91 [0.75, 1.10]) and early marriage (aOR 0.86 [0.69, 1.05]). CONCLUSION: This study found that early life use of ITNs was strongly associated with increased school completion in both men and women. More marginal associations were found between early-life ITN use and both marriage and child-bearing in early adulthood. ITN use during early childhood may have long-term positive effects on educational attainment in Tanzania. However, further research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind these associations and to explore the broader impacts of ITN use on other aspects of early adult life.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Household Economics and Health Systems Research > Epidemiology and Household Economics (Fink)
06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Epidemiology and Household Economics (Fink)
UniBasel Contributors:Fink, G√ľnther
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
ISSN:1475-2875 (Electronic)1475-2875 (Linking)
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:09 May 2023 07:52
Deposited On:09 May 2023 07:52

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