DFID has been investing in social marketing and market development of insecticide-treated bednets since 1998. This was done first through the SMITN (Social Marketing of Insecticide Treated Nets) project, and later through the SMARTNET (Strategic Social Marketing for Expanding the Commercial Marketing of Insecticide Treated Nets in Tanzania) project, jointly funded with the Netherlands.
Recent significant falls in under-five and infant mortality in Tanzania are due in part to increased use of treated nets. Net sales per year are well over three million—far surpassing any similar programme in Africa—and the nets are available in all parts of the country. Recent data shows that almost 30 per cent. of under-fives now sleep under treated bednets—double the percentage in 2005.
DFID committed and spent £3.9 million in the SMITN project, and committed a further £10.3 million out of the total £14.9 million commitment to the SMARTNET project. Of this, DFID has spent£7.6 million to date.