Drop in malaria child deaths

Kenya has cut malaria deaths among children under age five by 44percent from 2002 levels thanks largely to the increased use of insecticide-treated nets, the government said yesterday .

The health ministry said the distribution of 13,4million treated nets over the past five years among children and pregnant women had helped curtail infections, a key success against a disease threatening 40percent of the world's population.

"Childhood deaths have been reduced by 44percent in high-risk districts, in-patient malaria cases and deaths are falling [and] there are reduced cases at the community level," the ministry said.

"For every 1000 treated nets used, seven children who might have died of malaria are saved." Malaria kills 34000 children under the age of five each year in Kenya, and threatens the lives of more than 25million of its population of 34million people, the ministry said. - Sapa