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NEWS: Malaria Consortium at MIM 2009 - Evaluation of Distribution Strategies for Universal ITN Coverage

3 November 2009
Nairobi 3 November 2009: There is urgent need for the malaria community to understand better the potential of various insecticide treated net (ITN) distribution strategies in Africa, given the shift of focus away from pregnant women and children to more sustained universal coverage.

Speaking at the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria Conference in Kenya yesterday, Albert Kilian, Director of monitoring and evaluation at Malaria Consortium, explained the development of a simple model that uses number of households, existing net usage and annual net delivery by net type to predict coverage with at least one net or ITN. The model incorporates a system for accounting for loss of nets over time.

“Testing various distribution strategies reveals that large scale campaigns are the only way to rapidly achieve large coverage increases,” said Dr Kilian. “However, repeated campaigns at 3-5 year intervals without interim continuous distributions will result in a strongly varying ITN coverage with dips as low as 40% pre-campaign. In contrast, one initial campaign followed by continuous distributions leads to sustained high ITN coverage.” 

In most - but not all countries – this continuous supply could be achieved through ante-natal care and expanded immunisation services, plus 20% of households obtaining a new ITN from other sources such as the commercial market.

Dr Kilian concluded his presentation by stating that a mixed model distribution strategy is the most promising approach to achieve sustained high ITN coverage as a step towards the elimination of malaria.


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