Monday, August 17, 2009

Long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets in Madagascar

There are always things to learn which you would not imagine unless you visit the field.

Long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) are the main tool for combating against malaria promoted by the international aid community. These nets have insecticide ingrained into the fabric so that mosquitoes with malaria parasites will die as soon as they touch the net. People talk about its durability in terms of how long the effect of insecticide lasts.

Today the head of the malaria control department at the Ministry of Health in Madagascar told us the following:

In 2006, pregnant women and mothers with children under the age of five in the east coast area received LLINs for free at health centers. Since then, the malaria infection rate had been stable around 10 to 20 percent. Last year, it suddenly went up to nearly 50 percent. We investigated what happened. It turns out that those LLINs distributed in 2006 have holes so that mosquitoes can come inside the bed net. Why? People in the east coast tend to have the kitchen inside the house. They burn charcoal to cook. The cooking smoke makes bed nets dirty. So people wash LLINs quite often. After two years, LLINs are worn out.
It's not about the durability of insecticide but that of nets themselves that matter to Malagasy people.

1 comment:

Laza Razafimbelo said...

Interesting. And about the study, have you published something?