The impact of bed-net use on malaria prevalence.


Malaria infection continues to be a major problem in many parts of the world including the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Insecticide-treated bed-nets have shown to reduce malaria cases by 50%; however, improper handling and human behavior can diminish their effectiveness. We formulate and analyze a mathematical model that considers the transmission dynamics of malaria infection in mosquito and human populations and investigate the impact of bed-nets on its control. The effective reproduction number is derived and existence of backward bifurcation is presented. The backward bifurcation implies that the reduction of R below unity alone is not enough to eradicate malaria, except when the initial cases of infection in both populations are small. Our analysis demonstrate that bed-net usage has a positive impact in reducing the reproduction number R. The results show that if 75% of the population were to use bed-nets, malaria could be eliminated. We conclude that more data on the impact of human and mosquito behavior on malaria spread is needed to develop more realistic models and better predictions.

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