I saw this on Giving What We Can and was so delighted I wanted to repost it here. Source is The effect of malaria control on plasmodium falciparum in Africa between 2000 and 2015 in Nature:
The reduction in malaria has been caused — in large part — by people sleeping under bednets…Long lasting insecticide-treated bednets are a powerful weapon against malaria, not only because they’re a physical barrier between mosquitoes and sleeping children — the insecticide coating kills mosquitoes, so they don’t infect other members of the family (and the village) who don’t have mosquito nets…
In other words, this paper tells us about the bigger picture, showing that bednets are incredibly effective, not just at the level of individual villages, but at the level of whole populations. Essentially, the case that we should be distributing bednets just got even stronger.
The research suggests that anti-malarial interventions have prevented about 663 million malarial fevers. Long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets stand out as being particularly effective — being responsible for around 68% of the malaria reduction. This means that bednets have prevented around 450 million cases of malaria! And globally, 6.2 million fewer people died of malaria over the last 15 years because of malaria interventions…
Malaria is an immense economic burden on health systems and people: since 2000, malaria treatment in sub-Saharan Africa has cost almost $300 million. We can see the flip side of this in places in the United States, Brazil and Uganda — children born after malaria was eradicated or heavily controlled and so were not exposed to malaria during pregnancy, had substantially higher income later in life.
We urgently need to keep funding the distribution of bednets, because bednet distributions are one of the most cost-effective ways of preventing disease and death. Since 2000, one billion bednets have been distributed (costing around 5 dollars each), and have averted 450 million cases of malaria — this suggests that, on average, one episode of clinical malaria can be prevented for about $11 (malarial fevers can be very painful). One recent study suggests that in Kenya, bednet distributions between 2003 and 2008 have prevented a death of a child for about $1,011 on average
Humanity seems to be very visibly winning the war against malaria. I just donated a thousand more bednets; now I feel like a part of it and one day I can tell my kids that I helped. If you’re interested, you can donate to Against Malaria Foundation here.