Health News of 2013-12-17

Possible shortage of mosquito nets puts millions of people in danger

The Director of Production at Bestnet has today highlighted that millions of additional people could soon be at risk of contracting malaria due to a potential shortage in the world supply of insecticide treated mosquito nets.

Torben Larsen pointed out that there could be a worldwide reduction of up to 75% of insecticide treated nets in the coming year as suppliers struggle to get their products into local markets. This was due to a number of factors, including cultural differences with local governments and local market irregularities.

Currently about 3.3billion people are at risk of being exposed to the deadly disease, while every minute a child in the developing world dies.

Bed nets can provide lifesaving protection for people most at risk of malaria including children and pregnant women. According to the World Malaria Report 2011, 96% of people living in affected areas use the nets they are provided with.

Torben Larsen, Bestnet Director of Production and Supply Chain said: “If the decline of mosquito nets given out to people at risk of contracting malaria continues we will face a humanitarian crisis. Figures show that a possible 75% of the world’s supply of insecticide treated nets will drop out of the market. Bestnet is working with governments to take urgent and effective action to correct this unacceptable situation.”

Even before these new findings, there has been a dramatic decline in the number of nets given out to protect people. In 2012 only 70 million nets were distributed to affected countries. That is less than half of the 145 million bed nets that were given out in 2010.

This development makes it highly unlikely that the World Health Organisation will achieve their target of reducing malaria deaths to near zero by the end of 2015.

Bestnet is committed to dramatically reducing malaria deaths by supplying high quality life-saving and life-improving products and services. Bestnet is currently in contact with the Ghanaian Government to provide Long Lasting Insecticide Incorporated Mosquito Nets (LLINs) to the most affected communities.