Cheap Solutions for Big Problems

By Amelia Hennighausen - 2012-03-29T08:08:26Z

Photograph by Elizabeth Lippman; Styling by Brent Murray

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Mosquito-Repellant Bed Nets

Nothing But Nets
Cost: $3 to manufacture; $10 to send a net as donation

Malaria is one of the world's most pressing global health issues. Each year, more than 200 million people are infected and more than 650,000 people die from the disease. Malaria reduces gross domestic product by as much as 1.3 percent in countries with high levels of transmission, according to the World Health Organization.

Thanks to bed nets and other treatments, malaria mortality rates have fallen by 25 percent since 2000. Roughly half the homes in sub-Saharan Africa have at least one net, and 96 percent of those households use them. The nets are effective for three years or up to 20 washes.

The World Health Organization tests the nets for safety and efficacy. One hundred percent of every $10 contribution covers the cost of purchasing and distributing nets and educating communities about how to use them.

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