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Trends Parasitol. 2002 Jan;18(1):12-6.

The cost of not treating bednets.

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  • 1Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme, PO Box 43640, Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.


For centuries, bednets have been used as a physical barrier against biting insects. Recent epidemiological investigations into their protective effects against malaria were quickly overtaken by studies focusing on the benefits of impregnating bednets with insecticide. The operational problems encountered in re-treating bednets with insecticide are often cited as an impediment to wide-scale implementation. The evidence for a protective effect of untreated nets against malaria is presented here alongside an analysis of how well untreated nets would need to work in order to compete with treated nets within a cost-effectiveness framework.

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