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Table 3 Barriers and facilitators to net care and repair (as mentioned by respondents)

From: “It is about how the net looks”: a qualitative study of perceptions and practices related to mosquito net care and repair in two districts in eastern Uganda

Behaviour Motivators/facilitators Barriers
Repairing a net • Perceived risk of malaria due to holes • Holes are too big or too many
• Belief that mosquitoes can enter even a small hole • Prefer to replace with new net if affordable
• To save money on new nets or malaria treatment • Duration (how long the repair would take; sewing or patching seen as slow)
• Desire to be perceived as responsible and conscientious • Potential unattractiveness of repair (distortion due to knotting, neatness of sewing, color of material and thread used)
• Having a net that looks good (strong dislike of nets with holes) • Not mentioned: Lack of materials, inability to sew, lack of knowledge of how to repair
• Perception that repair can be fast and easy; especially knotting and tying off holes
• Awareness that small holes can get bigger
• Not having enough money to obtain a new net
• Realizing that a net that would have been considered unusable can still be used if repaired
• Needle, threat, and patching materials easily available at low to no cost
• How long the repair would last (sewing and patching seen as longer-lasting, knotting as quick to unravel)
• Men appear to approve of their wives caring for and repairing nets
Washing a net Motivators for NOT washing frequently: Barriers to NOT washing frequently:
• Frequent washing could cause holes • Desire to be perceived as a clean and responsible person
• Older nets more likely to tear during washing • Frequent washing/cleanliness perceived as good care
• Cost of soap (a few participants) • Believing nets should be treated like clothes and washed following the laundry schedule
• Understanding that frequent washing can reduce effectiveness of the ‘medicine’ in the net • Belief that dirty nets could cause disease
• Household factors like bedwetting and dirt floors
• Confusion about proper washing instructions
• Lack of proper washing instruction at distribution
Tying up a net or storing it when not in use • Recognized as a good ‘routine’ • Tiring to do daily
• Prevent damage to nets by children • Easy to forget
• Neat appearance • Busy with morning rush to work/fields
• Heads of households (men and women both) appear to approve in principle