WHO calls for free mosquito nets
10/10/2007 – by D+C | E+Z
In Kenya, the distribution of more than 13 million mosquito nets has significantly reduced the number of cases of malaria. According to the government in Nairobi, malaria deaths among children have dropped by 44 % in the past three years in the districts where nets were distributed. In 2003, with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Kenyan government started handing out mosquito nets treated with insecticide to people across the country.
The percentage of children sleeping under such nets thus increased to over 50 % nationwide. Arata Kochi, the director of the WHO’s malaria programme, said the figures from Kenya have put an end to the debate about how mosquito nets should be distributed. The WHO is now calling for nets to be made available to all exposed population groups free of charge; in the past, it confined this recommendation to pregnant women and children under five. A treated mosquito net costs donors around five US dollars. (ell)