Kenya: Child deaths from malaria cut by over 40%

Kenya cut child deaths from malaria by more than 40 percent over five years by handing out insecticide-treated mosquito nets, UN and Kenyan officials said. Experts hope to replicate the success throughout Africa. An estimated 700,000 to 2.7 million people die of malaria each year, 75 percent of them African children and tens of millions of people suffer chronically from the debilitating disease, even though it is preventable and curable. Over the past five years, Kenya gave out 13.5 million treated nets with the percentage of children sleeping under them rising to 52 percent in 2006, from 5 percent in 2003, the health ministry said Thursday. Kenya's program saved seven children for every 1,000 mosquito nets used, Health Minister Charity Ngilu said. "This is value for money," she said. "Definitely this is good investment."