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Adv Parasitol. 2006;61:77-128.

Insecticide-treated nets.

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Child and Reproductive Health Group, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK.


Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are the most powerful malaria control tool to be developed since the advent of indoor residual spraying (IRS) and chloroquine in the 1940s, and as such they have been an important component of global and national malaria control policies since the mid-1990s. Yet a decade later, coverage is still unacceptably low: only 3% of African children are currently sleeping under an ITN, and only about 20% are sleeping under any kind of net. This review charts the scientific, policy and programmatic progress of ITNs over the last 10 years. Available evidence for the range of programmatic delivery mechanisms used at country level is presented alongside the key policy debates that together have contributed to the evolution of ITN delivery strategies over the past decade. There is now global consensus around a strategic framework for scaling up ITN usage in Africa, which recognizes a role for both the public sector (targeting vulnerable groups to promote equity) and the private sector (sustainable supply). So, while progress with increasing coverage to date has been slow, there is now global support for the rapid scale-up of ITNs among vulnerable groups by integrating ITN delivery with maternal and child health programmes (and immunization in particular), at the same time working with the private sector in a complementary and supportive manner to ensure that coverage can be maintained for future generations of African children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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