Register for news Order publications Contact us Register for news
  Global Forum for Health Research> RealHealthNews




Net giveaway saves lives, changes WHO policy

Sometimes health policy can be turned into science, with advantage to all. Insecticide-treated bed nets (ITN) usage has increased rapidly in Kenya from 7% in 2004 to 67% in 2006, so “we aimed to assess the extent to which this investment has led to improvements in child survival” write the authors of a recent paper in The Lancet.

Their dramatic results have changed WHO policy: now WHO recommends mass distribution of long-lasting impregnated nets to everyone, rather than just targeting poor pregnant women and children.

In the Lancet study, in 3500 children in four districts of Kenya, “ITN use was associated with a 44% reduction in mortality. This level of protection corresponds to about seven deaths averted for every 1000 ITNs distributed” say the authors.

“This data from Kenya ends the debate about how to deliver long-lasting insecticidal nets,” said Arata Kochi, head of the WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “No longer should the safety and well-being of your family be based upon whether you are rich or poor. When insecticide treated mosquito nets are easily available for every person, young or old, malaria is reduced.”


Back to RealHealthNews home
Print this page
  Read on

The paper


WHO press release


Lancet editorial complaint about WHO’s early release


New WHO position paper on ITNs (1.1 MB pdf)










Site map Privacy Policy Disclaimer Acknowledgements