Bed nets treated with a new combination of chemicals significantly reduced the number of malaria cases shows the result of a two-year clinical trial in Burkina Faso.
According to the results of the study, published in the Lancet, the bednets resulted in a 12% reduction in Malaria cases.
“The 12% reduction may look small, but it’s actually huge: if we had rolled the nets out across the whole of Burkina Faso, then we would have reduced the number of malaria attacks in children under five by 700,000, or by 1.2m for the whole population,” Professor Steve Lindsay of the department of biosciences at Durham University told The Guardian.
The researchers studied the impact of using combination nets containing a pyrethroid insecticide and insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen. Currently, bed nets contain a single pyrethroid insecticide, to which mosquitoes are getting increasingly resistant.
Pyriproxyfen is a regulator that shortens the lives of mosquitoes and reduces their ability to reproduce.
The use of these combination nets also resulted in a 51% reduction in overall exposure to mosquitoes, and a 52% reduction in moderate anaemia among children, compared with a conventional net.
Africa is home to over 90% of all the malarial deaths worldwide. Malaria affected 2016 people globally in 2016.