Men ferry bales of ITNs across a river during a net distribution campaign in Nimba County, Liberia. PMI has purchased millions of nets for distribution throughout Africa.

In Africa, malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes that bite predominantly at night. Therefore, sleeping under an insecticide-treated net (ITN) can greatly reduce the risk of infection because ITNs repel mosquitoes and kill those that land on them. Increasing ownership and use of ITNs is a key component of President Malaria Initiative’s (PMI’s) prevention strategy. Launched in 2005, PMI is led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PMI is a key part of the Administration’s Global Health Initiative to help partner countries achieve major advances in health by working smarter, building on past successes and learning from past challenges. 

PMI’s approach to increasing coverage of nets follows these general principles: targeting populations most vulnerable to malaria – children under the age of five and pregnant women – while working to expand to universal coverage for all at risk of malaria; working to remove cost as a barrier to ownership; sustaining high ITN coverage through routine distribution through antenatal and child health clinics; supporting mass ITN campaigns; and promoting consistent use through behavior change communication. Check out the photo gallery here.