01 Aug 2003
Brentlinger PE, Sherr K, Mercer MA, Gloyd S. (2003). Scaling-up and sustaining insecticide-treated net coverage. Lancet Infect Dis. 3(8), 467. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(03)00718-7
During the past two decades the socioeconomic status of the residents of central Mozambique has been eroded by armed conflict, floods, drought, famine, and the rapid advance of AIDS, in addition to intensely transmitted malaria. Malaria is the single most common reported cause of death in young children who are hospitalised. The majority of the population lives in poverty. At present, the purchase price of even the least expensive bednet represents, for example, nearly a full day’s wage for a basic-level antenatal clinic nurse.
In this environment, even highly subsidised ITNs are too expensive for those who need them most. We concur that bednets, like essential childhood vaccines, should be made available in the poorest countries without charge, “as a public good”.