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Early childhood mosquito bed net use and long-term survival

Early childhood mosquito bed net use and long-term survival

Early childhood mosquito bed net use and long-term survival

Study proves malaria control in young children saves lives into adulthood

It has been hypothesized that in high-transmission settings, malaria control in early childhood (for under 5 children) might delay the acquisition of functional immunity and shift child deaths from younger to older ages.

What we did

We tested the hypothesis by estimating the association between early-life use of treated nets and survival to adulthood using data from a 22-year prospective cohort study in rural southern Tanzania.

How we did it

We enrolled 6706 children born between January 1, 1998, and August 30, 2000, in the study area in a longitudinal study from 1998 through 2003.

Adult survival outcomes were verified in 2019 through community outreach and mobile telephones.

We then used the “Cox proportional-hazards models” to analyze data.

What we found

The results showed that survival of children who habitually slept under nets was over 40% higher compared with survival in those who slept under nets less frequently in their early childhood.

What we conclude

In this long-term (over 20-year) study of early-life malaria control in a high-transmission setting, the survival benefit from early-life use of treated nets persisted to adulthood.

These research findings were published on:

The New England Journal of Medicine – in February 2022.

Who brought us this new knowledge?

From Ifakara Health Institute:

Sigilbert Mrema, Salim Abdulla, Rashid Khatib, Honorati Masanja, and Fredros Okumu

From partner institutions:

Günther Fink, S. Patrick Kachur, Christian Lengeler, and Joanna Schellenberg.

Want to learn more about this study?

Contact: our authors by email:

smrema@ihi.or.tz | rkhatib@ihi.or.tz | hmasanja@ihi.or.tz | fredros@ihi.or.tz  

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