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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2003 Apr;68(4 Suppl):168-73.

Implications of the western Kenya permethrin-treated bed net study for policy, program implementation, and future research.

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  • 1Centre for Vector Biology and Control Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kisumu, Kenya.


The fifth, and probably last, large-scale, group-randomized, controlled trial of insecticide (permethrin)-treated bed nets (ITNs) showed that ITNs are efficacious in reducing all-cause post-neonatal mortality in an area of intense, perennial malaria transmission. The trial helped to define pregnant women and infants as target groups for this intervention in high transmission settings. High population coverage with ITNs in both target and non-target groups may be critical to enhance health and survival in pregnant women and infants. The proportion of households with ITNs (coverage), the proportion of individuals properly deploying ITNs each night (adherence), and the proportion of nets properly treated with insecticide (treatment) are the three key determinants of effectiveness of large-scale ITN programs. These three simple outcomes should serve as the basis for program objectives and monitoring and evaluation efforts. Coverage effects and economic analysis support the proposition that ITNs may be viewed as a public good, worthy of public support. Research should continue to improve the intervention tools (the net, the insecticide, and methods for durable treatment and re-treatment) and their deployment.

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