Technical consultation on specifications and quality control of netting materials and mosquito nets
The WHO Global Malaria Programme (previously the WHO Roll Back Malaria Department) in collaboration with the Vector Biology and Control Unit of the WHO Regional Office for Africa convened a four-day Technical Consultation on Specifications and Quality Control of Netting Materials for Mosquito Nets at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 29 November to 2 December 2005.
The meeting was opened by Dr Arata Kochi, Director, Global Malaria Programme. Dr Kochi stressed the importance of science and evidence-based medicine. He welcomed the opportunity to interact and work closely with industry, where the interests of WHO and industry meet based on science. Finally, he encouraged participants to reach clear consensus on the issues being discussed.
The meeting brought together: (a) manufacturers of insecticides and mosquito nets (including long-lasting insecticidal nets – LLINs∗); (b) invited specialists from textile quality testing laboratories and major net procurement agencies; (c) scientists with expertise in chemistry and malaria vector control; and (d) experts from UNHCR, UNICEF and WHO (see Annex).
The first two days of the meeting were convened as plenary sessions, with industry representation. During the last two days, in a closed meeting with specialists and scientists, the updated specifications were finalized. Where insufficient information was available to make clear recommendations on the objectives, the meeting identified needs for further research.
The objectives of the meeting∗∗ were to:
update specifications on polyester netting materials and nets;
develop specifications for high density polyethylene netting materials;
define tentative specifications for netting materials other than polyester
and polyethylene; and
reach consensus on the content of guidelines for quality control and
procurement of mosquito nets.
Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are identified by the code LN in WHO specifications for these products. The meeting did not consider certain characteristics which are restricted to LLINs, as these are addressed through the WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme.