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    167956

    Public health goes private in Africa. Mosquito nets may become big business.

    Tarmann A

    Population Today. 2000 Feb-Mar; 28:[2] p..

    In sub-Saharan Africa, insecticide-treated materials (ITMs)--primarily mosquito nets or bed nets--have protected pregnant women and reduced mortality among infants and children. According to the WHO, the use of treated bed nets can reduce rates of severe malaria by an average of 45% and decrease childhood mortality rates between 25% and 35%. Since the nets and insecticide have proven so effective that access to them furthers public health, the WHO, UN Children's Fund, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have committed in the distribution of ITMs. The international donors have also supported the public sector and nongovernmental organizations in selling health products and services at affordable prices and motivating people to use them. However, Will Shaw, director of international public health with the Academy for Educational Development (AED), pointed out several limitations of donor-funded ITM programs. Hence, under a cooperative agreement with USAID, AED will work with the S.C. Johnson company and other international and local partners on the Africa NetMark regional project, promoting the commercial distribution of ITMs.
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