Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insecticide-treated Bed Nets Reduce Infant Deaths In Democratic Republic Of Congo, Study Finds

Date:
November 24, 2009
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
Giving insecticide-treated bed nets to nearly 18,000 mothers at prenatal clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo prevented an estimated 414 infant deaths from malaria, researchers conclude.

A study found insecticide-treated bed nets to be a very cost-effective intervention.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Giving insecticide-treated bed nets to nearly 18,000 mothers at prenatal clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo prevented an estimated 414 infant deaths from malaria, a study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers concludes.

The bed nets cost about $6 each. When costs for transporting and distributing the nets and educating people how to use them are factored in, it cost just over $411 per infant death prevented. In addition, the intervention prevented an estimated 587 low birth weight deliveries, which in turn reduced long-term disability.

“This is an extremely cost-effective intervention,” said Sylvia Becker-Dreps, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of family medicine in the UNC School of Medicine and lead author of the study, which is published in the September 2009 issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

"In fact, it approaches the cost effectiveness of measles vaccination and is far more cost effective than prevention measures that are routine in the U.S."

The study stems from a project Becker-Dreps worked on while pursuing her Master of Public Health degree in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Andrea K. Biddle, M.P.H., Ph.D., an associate professor in the Gillings School, was one of her mentors on the project and is one of the study’s co-authors, along with three other Gillings School faculty.

In the project, study co-author Frieda Behets, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology at the Gillings School, helped 28 clinics in Kinshasa, the capital and largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, implement a program to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As part of that program, 17,893 pregnant women were given long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets for free.

Malaria, which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, is common among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa and is a major contributing factor to low birth weights and infant deaths in that region. “The goal of this study,” Becker-Dreps said, “was to find out the costs and impact of giving bed nets to pregnant women in prenatal clinics, before their babies were born. The pregnant women could then use the bed nets during their pregnancies to reduce preterm deliveries and then use it to protect their young infants after birth.”

Questionnaires administered to the mothers found that 84 percent reported sleeping under the bed net every day or almost every day, six months after delivery. Interviewers who visited a sample of the mothers reported that 70 percent had their bed nets hanging in the correct position in their homes.

Becker-Dreps and colleagues combined this data with actual infant mortality and low birth weight data from clinics in the region and then performed statistical analyses that enabled them to produce their estimates. They concluded that bed net distribution is a cost-effective addition to prenatal services in the region.

Co-authors of the study, in addition to Becker-Dreps, Biddle and Behets, include Audrey Pettifor, Ph.D., Steven Meshnick, M.D., Ph.D., all from the Gillings School; and Gertrude Musuamba, M.D. from the School of Public Health in Kinshasa and David Nku Imbie, M.D., from the Salvation Army in Kinshasa.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Insecticide-treated Bed Nets Reduce Infant Deaths In Democratic Republic Of Congo, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903064442.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2009, November 24). Insecticide-treated Bed Nets Reduce Infant Deaths In Democratic Republic Of Congo, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903064442.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Insecticide-treated Bed Nets Reduce Infant Deaths In Democratic Republic Of Congo, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903064442.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins