Objective: To assess the costs and consequences of a social marketing approach to malaria control in children by means of insecticide-treated nets in two rural districts of the United Republic of Tanzania, compared with no net use.
Methods: Project cost data were collected prospectively from accounting records. Community effectiveness was estimated on the basis of a nested case-control study and a cross-sectional cluster sample survey.
Findings: The social marketing approach to the distribution of insecticide-treated nets was estimated to cost 1560 US dollars per death averted and 57 US dollars per disability-adjusted life year averted. These figures fell to 1018 US dollars and 37 US dollars, respectively, when the costs and consequences of untreated nets were taken into account.
Conclusion: The social marketing of insecticide-treated nets is an attractive intervention for preventing childhood deaths from malaria.