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Assessing Consumer Acceptance of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets


The use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) is one of the most important effective interventions in preventing malaria in the developing world. While there has been tremendous progress made in the distribution and ownership of nets in malaria endemic countries, there is often a large gap between ownership and use. There are many reasons for this, but among the most important is that nets do not always respond to household needs in terms of their acceptability; e.g., the shape and color of nets, the materials with which they are manufactured, and how easily they are stored.

Bayer CropScience has developed an LLIN that aims to address the shortcomings of other nets. The most commonly used fabrics used in the manufacturing of LLINs are polyester and polyethylene. The new Bayer product, branded LifeNet™, is the first LLIN to successfully incorporate deltamethrin, the WHO-recommended insecticide, into polypropylene fiber.

Polypropylene boasts the following advantages:

  • It is more durable than polyester.
  • It is softer than polyethylene.
  • It can be used to manufacture softer, stronger mosquito nets that also remain effective for a longer time.

In addition, LifeNet™ is designed to be easily moved up and out of the way during periods of non-use, a valuable space-saving feature in small living quarters.

Bayer CropScience contracted with AED in order to help ascertain consumer acceptability of this new net. To do this, AED developed a research protocol and partnered with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to assess the acceptability of LifeNet™ by families in both urban and rural areas in western Kenya, and to compare its perceived benefits with those of other LLINs. The proprietary results of this study enabled Bayer to further improve upon and launch this potentially lifesaving LLIN.

For more information about Bayer's research efforts to combat the mosquito-borne illness, read the Bayer research brief: Novel mosquito nets with integrated active ingredient Combating Malaria with Special Meshes.

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