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Reduction in the Burden of Malarial Anemia in Benin: Confirmation of an Anti-Vector Approach at the National Level
Authors: Jasbir K. Sangha and Kiersten B. Johnson
Source: International Journal of Tropical Medicine, Year: 2009 | Volume: 4 | Issue: 3 | Page No.: 104-111 DOI: 10.3923/ijtmed.2009.104.111
Topic(s): Anemia
Country: Africa
Published: FEB 2009
Abstract: Abstract: To assess the association between mosquito net use and the burden of malaria as proxied by severe anemia. We also attempt to discern the comparative validity of two proposed cut-offs (Hb <8 and Hb <7 g dL-1) for defining severe anemia. We use data from the nationally-representative Benin Demographic and Health Surveys (BDHS) conducted in 2001 and 2006 to assess the use of mosquito nets and severe anemia in children 6-23 months of age. We find that use of mosquito nets among all children in Beninois households is associated with a >40% reduction in the adjusted odds of being severely anemic for both survey years. The results of this analysis are equivocal on the question of whether <7 or <8 g dL-1 is the more valid cut-off point to define severe anemia in the context of malaria. There is a clear association between mosquito net use and reduced burden of severe anemia: not only is there a decrease in the national prevalence of severe anemia at the same time that an increase in mosquito net use was observed, but analyses of individual-level data also indicate a strong negative association between mosquito net use and severe anemia. These findings provide additional support for the continued promotion of mosquito nets as an important anti-vector strategy in the fight against malaria.