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Malar J. 2012 Sep 13;11:327. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-11-327.

From intervention to impact: modelling the potential mortality impact achievable by different long-lasting, insecticide-treated net delivery strategies.

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Department of Disease Control, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.



The current target of universal access to long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets (LLIN) is 80% coverage to reduce malaria deaths by 75% by 2015. So far, campaigns have been the main channel for large-scale delivery of LLINs, however the World Health Organization has recommended that equal priority should be given to delivery via routine antenatal care (ANC) and immunization systems (EPI) to target pregnant women and children from birth. These various channels of LLIN delivery are targeted to children of different ages. Since risk of mortality varies with child age and LLIN effectiveness declines with net age, it was hypothesized that the age at which a child receives a new LLIN, and therefore the delivery channel, is important in optimizing the health impact of a net.


A simple dynamic mathematical model was developed of delivery and impact of LLINs among children under five years of age and their household members, incorporating data on age-specific malaria death rates, net use by household structure, and net efficacy over time.


The presented analysis finds that supplementing a universal mass campaign with extra ANC delivery would achieve a 1.4 times higher mortality reduction than campaign delivery alone, reflecting that children born in the years between campaigns would otherwise have access to old nets or no nets at an age of high risk. The relative advantage of supplementary ANC delivery is still present though smaller if malaria transmission levels are lower or if there is a strong mass effect achieved by mass campaigns.


These results indicate that LLIN delivery policies must take into account the age of greatest malaria risk. Emphasis should be placed on supporting routine delivery of LLINs to young children as well as campaigns.

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