OBJECTIVES: To validate and quantify the impact of insecticide-treated bednets (ITN) on malaria morbidity and mortality in Cambodia.
METHODS: A paired, cluster-randomized trial of ITN was conducted in Rattanakiri, North East Cambodia. Thirty-four villages with a total population of 10,726 were randomized to receive deltamethrin-impregnated bednets or to control (no net provision). Cross-sectional surveys measured Plasmodium falciparum prevalence at baseline and 10 months after ITN distribution. Village malaria volunteers in control and intervention villages treated dipstick-positive P. falciparum cases with artesunate and mefloquine. The resulting passive surveillance data were used as an estimate of the incidence of clinical P. falciparum infections.
RESULTS: There was a protective efficacy of 28% in P. falciparum incidence (adjusted rate ratio 0.72, 95% CI 0.47-1.08) and 9% in P. falciparum prevalence (adjusted prevalence ratio 0.91, 95% CI 0.65-1.28) in ITN relative to control villages; however, neither of these estimates reached statistical significance. Individual-level analysis indicated a greater reduction in P. falciparum prevalence among under 5-year-olds (adjusted OR = 0.63, 95% CI 0.26-1.53) compared to older individuals (interaction P = 0.042). The protective efficacy of 35% (95% CI -28, 67%) with respect to clinical P. falciparum incidence in under 5-year-olds was more pronounced than the corresponding estimates for prevalence but was again not significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Lack of statistical significance in the results is likely to be due to a lack of power. The analysis provides further evidence for ITN effectiveness in South East Asia, particularly among individuals under 5 years of age.
Tropical Medicine & International Health (2006) 11 (8) 1166-1177 [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2006.01673.x]