Malaria Prevention:
Netcomp II

The NetComp II Project is a malaria prevention and mosquito net distribution project implemented in the central highland region of Madagascar. Malaria kills over a million people a year world-wide. Since malaria is the leading cause of child mortality in Madagascar, OSI conceived of the NetComp II project to evaluate the ability of small financial incentives to boost use of mosquito nets in rural Malagasy villages.

NetComp II builds off the success of the NetComp I project in 2004 and 2005, in which demand for and use of nets was tested at different price levels. From the original project, OSI learned that distributing mosquito nets for free was effective in terms of the number of households subsequently owning nets. However, prompt and correct use of the nets was more difficult to achieve. In order to boost the use of the nets, OSI's Research Division implemented NetComp II to test the efficacy of providing small financial incentives to households who use mosquito nets correctly.

OSI's team of health educators fanned out to 21 villages to provide health education, perform surveys about malaria knowledge and distribute coupons which were redeemable for free mosquito nets in the local market town. In all, OSI distributed nearly 700 mosquito nets providing protection from malaria to over 2000 people, many of whom are children and pregnant women who are especially vulnerable to malarial fevers.

A higher rate of net usage would result in significant increases in child survival in malaria prone regions of the world, and the use of incentives may be a cost-effective way to rapidly increase the use of nets, especially in vulnerable populations.

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