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Trop Med Int Health. 2009 Jul;14(7):792-801. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2009.02295.x. Epub 2009 May 26.

Integration of insecticide-treated net distribution into routine immunization services in Malawi: a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Community Health, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the feasibility of distributing insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) through routine immunization services, to increase ownership and use of ITNs among high-risk groups, whereas maintaining or improving timely completion of routine vaccinations.

METHODS:

Free ITNs were provided with timely completion of routine vaccinations in two intervention districts in southern Malawi for 15 months. Cross-sectional baseline and follow-up household surveys were conducted in the two intervention districts and one control district.

RESULTS:

Insecticide-treated nets utilization among children aged 12-23 months roughly doubled in the two intervention districts and did not change in the control district. Timely vaccination coverage increased in all three districts. The percentage of children aged 12-23 months who were both fully vaccinated by 12 months and slept under an ITN the night prior to the interview increased from 10-14% at baseline to 40-44% at follow-up in the intervention districts (P < 0.001), but did not change significantly in the control district.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study is the first to evaluate the provision of free ITNs at completion of a child's primary vaccination series, demonstrating that such a linkage is both feasible and can result in improved coverage with the combined services. Additional studies are needed to determine whether such a model is effective in other countries, and whether integration of other health services with immunization delivery could also be synergistic.

PMID:
19497078
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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