Kenya to benefit from increased access to anti-Malaria nets

The lives of 167,000 children in Kenya will be saved as a result of a new programme to provide treated anti-malaria bed nets, International Development Secretary Hilary Benn announced today.

Mr Benn confirmed that a further =A319.6 million will be made available for a programme providing 11 million bed nets treated with insecticide to vulnerable women and children.

"These bed nets are vital in the fight against malaria," he said. "Children should not be put at risk as they sleep. This additional funding means that 11 million nets will be available to over 75% of the vulnerable population by 2007/08, allowing them to sleep safely and free from the threat of malaria."

The nets will be distributed through the Mother and Child Health Clinics and rural retailers.

The Department for International Development and the United States Agency for International Development began providing insecticide treated bed nets in Kenya in January 2002.

The Commission for Africa recommended that every pregnant woman and child under five should have a long lasting insecticide treated bed net and is provided with effective malaria drugs. This support will go a long way to ensuring this becomes a reality in Kenya.

The programme also impacts on two of the Millennium Development Goals - to reduce the death rate of children under five years old by two thirds between 1990 and 2015 and to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters between 1990 and 2015.

Notes to editors

1. Attached is an information note on the fight against malaria in Kenya.

For further information, contact Trish O'Donnell on 020 7023 0821 or 020 7023 0600, e-mail or call our Public Enquiries Point on 0845 300 4100.