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The Unsustainability of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets

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  • 1 Department of Applied Health, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois

ABSTRACT.

Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are highly effective tools for malaria prevention, and it is clear bed nets are necessary. However, given the environmental concerns of the production, distribution, and disposal of LLINs, the malaria prevention community should look to design sturdier nets that last longer and are made of more sustainable materials to reduce harmful environmental impacts in a time when addressing climate change is urgent. We discuss concerns related to plastic pollution and the environmental health of LLINs in their current form, while recognizing the absolute importance of bed nets for malaria prevention. We call for conversation and innovation among all those involved in malaria prevention to address the unsustainability of LLINs and to maximize the resources available for malaria prevention in a climate of competing global health priorities.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Ellen M. Santos, Department of Applied Health, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 1 Hairpin Dr., Edwardsville, IL 62026. E-mail: elsanto@siue.edu

Authors’ addresses: Ellen M. Santos and Tatyana M. Curtis, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Applied Health, Edwardsville, IL, E-mails: elsanto@siue.edu and tcurtis@siue.edu.

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