Rwanda to Sue Denmark Firm Over Substandard Bednets

Rwanda is waiting for an approval from its Justice Ministry to drag to court Netprotect a Danish firm for supplying substandard mosquito bednets.

In 2013, Netprotect supplied over 3 million bednets, which Rwanda later found were fake but had been distributed to households across the country.

Health Minister, Dr Agnes Binagwaho says the fake nets have caused an increase in malaria cases.

Dr. Binagwaho says, “The last LLIN shipment was substandard and less efficient.” She said the ministry would have stopped the supply, but it learnt about it after the nets had been distributed.

In 2013, Malaria killed 412 people but deaths declined to 352 in 2014.Meanwhile, malaria accounted for 19 % deaths among children below 5years.

Rwanda has deployed over 40,000 community health workers who among other diseases, test and treat malaria within the first 24 hours of diagnosis.

Without the required standard nets there has been a major decline in malaria prevention.

A mini survey by the ministry of health confirmed that bednets had less than 50 % of insecticide, which hinders them from efficiently killing mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, according to WHO, 0.5 litre of insecticide formulation diluted in water should be used to treat polyester net while 2 litres should be used for cotton net, to provide 100% of treatment for the nets, though none of the above standards was met by Netprotect.

Minister Binagwaho says Netprotect will be asked to replace or compensate the country.

Otherwise, Rwanda will sue the firm. One piece costs $5. The cost excludes shipping fees.

By: Lilian Gahima




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