4/11/2013 2:30:00 PM

Distribution of long-lasting bed nets in Africa is about half what is needed.

According to a report from the Global Fund (Update on Results and Impact) published this week, the Global Fund supported the distribution of approximately 80 Million bed nets in 2012. Of these more than 70% (66 million) went to sub-Saharan African countries. According to World Health Organization figures, this represents less than half of the estimated 150 million bed nets which are needed annually to protect the population at risk of malaria in Africa. The top recipients of nets in sub-Saharan Africa were Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria. India, Afghanistan and Indonesia were major recipients in other regions.

According to this report, approximately half of the countries impacted by malaria are on target to meet the targets of 75% reduction in cases by 2015; with further progress towards that goal depending on maintaining coverage of prevention and treatment in high-burden countries.
Swaziland, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana, Namibia, Cape Verde, Algeria and Sao Tome and Principe have achieved a 75% reduction in malaria cases. Eritrea is on track to achieve a 75% reduction; Madagascar and Zambia are on track to achieve a reduction of between 50% and 75%.

The need for insecticide treated nets to be replaced every three years means that coverage will be threatened in the future, unless there is a substantial increase in the availability (and distribution) of nets in 2013. According to the report 80% of malaria cases occur in just 14 countries (Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo are on this list). Limited coverage in these countries is, according to the report, holding back the overall level of achievement.
The implications of the entry of mosquito nets which last more than 3 years were not discussed within the Global Funds report but it can be assumed that nets which have an average effective lifespan exceeding 3 years could provide significant overall benefits in the goal to eliminate malaria.