Following the positive results from Population Services International's (PSI) malaria social marketing initiative that has been running in Kenya since 2002, a new DFID-funded five-year programme extension has been launched. In the last eight years of the project, malaria-related child deaths in Kenya has reduced by over 40%, achieved through supply and distribution of over 12 million bednets with re-treatment kits and over seven million long lasting insecticide-treated bednets (LLINs).
Under the current project that runs until 2015, Crown Agents has been sub-contracted by PSI to procure, inspect and deliver LLINs, as well as condoms and other contraceptives.
The success of the bednet project has been largely driven by specifically targeting the group that is most vulnerable to malaria, namely pregnant women and children under five years old. The gains were also a result of a coordinated national effort combining free mass distribution of nets (through the Global Fund programme) and the social marketing of branded Supanets by PSI, especially in rural areas. The campaigns were also strengthened by branded and generic messages encouraging the use of LLINs. The project also gained from the World Health Organisation's (WHO) support and leadership by the Kenyan Division of Malaria Control in the Ministry of Health. Crown Agents, working with the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA), GTZ and John Snow Incorporated, has actively assisted in national distribution of LLINs supported by Global Fund grants.
Kenya is now one of the leading countries showing the impact of insecticide-treated nets resulting from extensive marketing and education that has encouraged a large proportion of the population to sleep under a treated net.