Malaria is a leading cause of death in much of the developing world yet it is both preventable and curable. A solution would be providing free insecticide treated bed-nets (ITNs)to obtain maximum protection and reduce disease burden.
Source: Innovations for Poverty Action
The two programs in the table below have been proven to reduce death and suffering from malaria:
When used appropriately, insecticide-treated nets and malaria drugs can save lives quite cost-effectively (though not for the "$10" sometimes advertised).
However, drugs must be administered properly, and insecticide-treated nets must reach target populations (children and pregnant women) and be consistently and correctly used. Donors should ask how charities are monitoring these issues.
Instead of charging a subsidized price for these life-saving mosquito nets, free distribution leads to much greater take-up. Distributing bed nets at prenatal clinics enables pregnant women to protect themselves and their young children. A common belief and practice is to charge for health products like bed nets so that their owners value them more, leading to proper and constant usage, yet studies looking at this very question have provided evidence that free distribution did not actually increase wastage in these circumstances. Charging subsidised prices also substantially reduced access in some parts.
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