Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 10 Suppl 1 (Suppl 1), S6

Africa's Largest Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated Net Producer: Lessons From A to Z Textiles


Africa's Largest Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated Net Producer: Lessons From A to Z Textiles

Hassan Masum et al. BMC Int Health Hum Rights.


Background: Field trials have demonstrated the efficacy of insecticide-treated nets, and the WHO has recently endorsed a shift toward Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated nets (LLINs) due to factors such as reduced distribution costs. However, the need for LLINs poses several challenges. Is it possible to manufacture LLINs in large quantities in the African continent, where malaria is most endemic? When production is located in low-income countries, what role is played by local funding and employment, scaling up manufacturing, and partnerships? What factors influence availability and pricing?

Discussion: A case study of A to Z Textiles was undertaken to answer the question of how large-scale production of LLINs can occur in a low income setting. One of the largest sources of bed nets for Africa, A to Z Textiles is Africa-based, and its Tanzanian operations have a production capacity of 30 million LLINs per year, along with full WHO recommendation for its nets. Our analysis is based on semi-structured interviews with key informants familiar with A to Z, site visits in Tanzania, and literature reviews.This paper discusses the history and current status of A to Z Textiles, identifies the factors that led to its success, and suggests policy considerations that could support similar initiatives in the future. Local funding, scaling up manufacturing, technology transfer, and partnerships all played important roles in A to Z's ascent, as did perceived benefits of local employment and capacity-building. Regulatory issues and procurement rules acted as barriers. A to Z cost-effectively manufactures high-quality LLINs where malaria is most endemic.

Summary: With a production capacity of 30 million LLINs per year, and full WHOPES (WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme) certification, A to Z Textiles demonstrates how key health goods can be successfully produced in the low-income countries that use them. Its example may be instructive and of high interest to readers in the malaria community, especially in developing countries, and to those who wish to support or partner with efforts by developing countries to build their health innovation capacity.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 6 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. World Health Organization. The world malaria report 2009. 2009. Geneva.
    1. Lengeler C, Cattani J, Savigny DD. Net Gain: a new method for preventing malaria deaths. Ottawa and Geneva: IDRC/ WHO; 1996.
    1. Lengeler C. Insecticide-treated bed nets and curtains for preventing malaria. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;2:CD000363. - PubMed
    1. World Health Organization. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets: a position statement. 2007. Geneva.
    1. World Economic Forum. Global Health Initiative Public-Private Partnership Case Example: Building a public-private partnership to transfer the technology of a life-saving malaria prevention tool in Africa. 2006. Geneva.

LinkOut - more resources