This month’s Malaria Journal has published the findings of a survey of bednet ownership, use and quality conducted in Western Kenya (h/t to @bbbrieger for flagging it). The results may be a depressing to those who are strong believers in the importance of insecticide treated bed nets in the fight against malaria.
The author find:
“Of the 670 households surveyed, 95% owned at least one net.”
Wow, great news. But then they go on:
“Only 59% of household residents slept under a net during the night prior to the survey. 77% of those who slept under a net used an insecticide-treated net (ITN) or long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLIN). Out of 1,627 nets in the survey households, 40% were deemed to be of poor quality because of holes. Compared to other age groups, children aged 5-14 years were most likely to have slept under nets of poor quality (odds ratio 1.41; p= 0.007).”
The large discrepancy between ownership and use has been documented elsewhere, but there has been much less documentation of the low quality of the bednets. I am sure that sleeping under a bednet with a hole is probably still better than not sleeping under a bednet, but it does raise one more important issue that must be dealt with when so much focus has been given to bednets for the control of malaria.Share on Facebook