Treated Mosquito Nets Prevent Malaria

Posted on February 3, 2008  Comments (1)

WHO Backs Free, Treated Mosquito Nets to Prevent Malaria

Long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets should be distributed free, rapidly and widely in malaria-endemic areas, World Health Organization officials said here Thursday, setting new guidelines for fighting the mosquito-borne disease around the globe.

The WHO announcement was paired with what Kochi called “impressive” findings by Kenyan health authorities that widespread, free distribution of mosquito nets can effectively save children’s lives.

After several years of using a combination of free distribution and sales, the Kenyan government last year conducted a massive, almost military-style campaign to distribute without charge 3.4 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets over three days in 46 malaria-endemic districts across the country.

Among a monitored group of 3,500 children in four of those districts, the number sleeping under the nets increased nearly tenfold from 2004 to 2006, WHO said, citing Kenyan government figures. The result was 44 percent fewer deaths than among children not sleeping under nets. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets kill mosquitoes on contact. If enough nets are distributed and used, they can have a kind of collective impact of eradicating mosquitoes in a given area.

PLoS Medicine open access article: Increasing Coverage and Decreasing Inequity in Insecticide-Treated Bed Net Use among Rural Kenyan Children

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One Response to “Treated Mosquito Nets Prevent Malaria”

  1. No name provided
    February 5th, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

    Hasn’t this been a round for a long time? I think one of the problems is that the insecticide eventually becomes less effective but people continue to use the nets. They need some kind of obvious marker to show the potency of the poison, like the dye on your tooth brush bristles that lets you know when to buy a new one.

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