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Trop Med Int Health. 1997 Sep;2(9):855-62.

Do insecticide-treated curtains reduce all-cause child mortality in Burkina Faso?

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Centre National de Lutte contre le Paludisme, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.


To evaluate whether insecticide-treated netting (ITN) reduces child mortality in different epidemiological settings, 4 large, randomized, controlled trials were conducted in Africa. Here we report the findings from the trial in Burkina Faso, in an area of hyperendemic and markedly seasonal malaria transmission. The trial involved 158 villages, with a total population of some 90,000, grouped into 16 geographical clusters. Ascertainment of mortality among children aged 6-59 months began in early 1993. In June/July 1994, 8 of the clusters, randomly selected, received permethrin-treated curtains. Follow-up of children and ascertainment of mortality continued until May 1996. A 15% reduction in all-cause mortality among children aged 6-59 months was observed over the 2-year period following the installation of the curtains (95% c.i. -4% to 30%). In the first year, post-intervention mortality was substantially lower in the clusters receiving curtains compared with the control clusters (rate ratio = 0.74; 95% c.i. 0.57, 0.95) but in the second year, there was no difference between mortality in the two groups (rate ratio = 0.99). The overall two-year impact of the intervention is consistent with the impacts observed in other trials which have demonstrated reductions in child mortality of from 17% to 33%. However, the year-by-year analysis raises some concerns about the long-term effect of ITN. Further follow-up of this population is warranted.

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