Cracker Barrel on Regulating Responsibility

Business and the Environment

Malaria treated bed nets. The Law of Unintended Consequences.

Per Jeff Sachs, malaria treated bed-nets have been dispersed to at-risk areas in Africa.  But, their usefullness is exactly their downfall.  Free and cheap nets have been used for fishing instead of sleeping under.

Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are a simple, cost-effective way to fight malaria and are distributed to pregnant women and children in Kenya, often for free. But when Noboru Minakawa of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Nagasaki, Japan, and colleagues surveyed villages along Lake Victoria, they found people were using the nets for fishing or drying fish, because the fish dry faster in the nets than on papyrus sheets, and the nets are cheaper.  New Scientist

Find Noburu Minakawa’s study here.

How could a policy approach to fighting malaria take into account human behavior?


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