The association between household bed net ownership and all-cause child mortality in Madagascar
Author(s): Meekers D, Yukich JO
Malaria continues to be an important cause of morbidity and mortality in Madagascar. It has been estimated that the malaria burden costs Madagascar over $52 million annually in terms of treatment costs, lost productivity and prevention expenses. One of the key malaria prevention strategies of the Government of Madagascar consists of large-scale mass distribution campaigns of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLIN). Although there is ample evidence that child mortality has decreased in Madagascar, it is unclear whether increases in LLIN ownership have contributed to this decline. This study analyses multiple recent cross-sectional survey data sets to examine the association between household bed net ownership and all-cause child mortality.
Data on household-level bed net ownership confirm that the percentage of households that own one or more bed nets increased substantially following the 2009 and 2010 mass LLIN distribution campaigns. Additionally, all-cause child mortality in Madagascar has declined during the period 2008–2013. Bed net ownership was associated with a 22% reduction in the all-cause child mortality hazard in Madagascar.
Mass bed net distributions contributed strongly to the overall decline in child mortality in Madagascar during the period 2008–2013. However, the decline was not solely attributable to increases in bed net coverage, and nets alone were not able to eliminate most of the child mortality hazard across the island.
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