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10 year US project to fight malaria builds thriving African mosquito net industry

In a decade-long initiative to protect millions of families from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, a U.S. government-funded project helped sell 50 million bed nets in seven countries, crafted a voucher system to allow the poor to receive them for free or partial cost, and created enough incentives for private companies that they invested $88 million to expand their businesses, according to results released today by AED at a conference held at the National Press Club.

This new commercial approach also helped reduce the price of insecticide-treated mosquito nets by 30 to 70 percent. Now, those nets sell for between US$4 and US$7.

The NetMark project, a $67 million, USAID-funded public-private partnership to prevent malaria, ends September 30, but the bed net market continues to thrive in seven countries where it operated—Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Zambia. Not only did the U.S. investment help spur major spending by private companies—for every $1 in public funds, African and international businesses spent $1.30—the new commercial sector now exists.

Via EurekAlert

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