LLIN lifespan and usage rates have been hot items of study and debate the last years as reports on actual performance on the LLIN's distributed in course of the large scale international effort to combat malaria have come in. It is evident that theLLIN is often not used properly despite the evidence of the protection it provides. It is also evident that LLIN's often do last as long as we would like or expect. While some net types have been proven to be more resistent to wear than others studies have also shown that the same net type may have a very different average lifetime when distributed to one specific area than it may in another.
The slide show to the right demonstrates how LLIN type A is used where traditional LLIN's get in the way.
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The development of this new LLIN design was spurred by observations made by ntelligent Insect Control as
well as other excellent researchers on the topic of LLIN usage rates and longevity on how a general contributing factor to both areas of performance is quite simply that while LLIN's are made according to standardized specifications the settings in which they are used are anything but
A rectangular LLIN is often very difficult to hang; ceilings may be too high, the room or sleeping space may have odd dimensions or may to in too close
to other facets of daily life, such as the kitchen and fire place. Improperly hung LLIN's may either provide entry for mosquitoes or they be collapsing onto the persons sleeping under them as the netting material is not strecthed out properly. They may also be cumbersome in hanging up and taking down daily and add unnecessary work in an already busy day. Such inconveniences have been found to cause people to discontinue use towards the end of the mosquito season, when mosquitoes are felt as less of a nuisiance, or to stop using the nets altogether(Toe et al, 2009).
The same set of circumstances can also be detrimental to the physical integrity of the LLIN. Most holes in LLIN's are found in the lowest 30 cm of the net.The is where the net is in contact with nails or sharp corners on bed frames or straws from straw mattresses. The more frequent a net is put up and taken down, the greater the risk that the net may tear on sharp objects. Proximity to kitchen fires and lamps have also been identified as factors contributing to shortened LLIN lifespan.
Proximity to heat may cause the fibers to become brittle and sparks may melt small holes in the netting. Once the netting structure is compromised it will take very little for signifiant holes to develop.
Intelligent Insect Control has taken up the challenge and developed a new LLIN design in response. The new LLIN type A design has been developed to allow LLIN use in situations where traditional designs simply do not fit it in and can be used both under high ceilings, in narrow rooms, outside or in rooms that only serve as sleeping space at night while they are centre of family activities, especially cooking, during the day. Not only is the new net design much easier to hang up, it is also as easy to remove from the sleeping place as pulling aside a curtain.
LLIN type A is commercially avaialable as Netprotect A
Manufactured and distributed by Bestnet A/S