AUGUST 2013 WINNER

4 Bed Nets in Nigeria

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Cost: $40

Amount: 4 Bed Nets

In Africa, one in six child deaths is due to malaria. An insecticide-treated net is a simple, very effective way to save precious lives.

Mosquito nets treated with insecticides—known as insecticide treated nets (ITNs) or bednets—were developed in the 1980s for malaria prevention. ITNs are estimated to be twice as effective as untreated nets, and offer greater than 70% protection compared with no net. These nets are dip-treated using a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide such as deltamethrin or permethrin which will double the protection over a non-treated net by killing and repelling mosquitoes.

ITNs protect the individuals or households that use them, and they protect people in the surrounding community in one of two ways.

  • First, ITNs kill adult mosquitos infected with the malaria parasite directly which increases their mortality rate and can therefore decrease the frequency in which a person in the community is bit by an infected mosquitos.

  • Second, certain malaria parasites require days to develop in the salivary glands of the vector mosquito. Plasmodium falciparum for example, the parasite that is responsible for the majority of deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, takes 8 days to mature and therefore malaria transmission to humans does not take place until approximately the 10th day, although it would have required blood meals at intervals of 2 to 5 days. By killing mosquitoes before maturation of the malaria parasite, ITNs can reduce the number of encounters of infected mosquitos with humans.

When a large number of nets are distributed in one residential area, their chemical additives help reduce the number of mosquitoes in the environment. With fewer mosquitoes in the environment, the chances of malaria infection for recipients and non-recipients are significantly reduced.

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