Broken Promise? Taxes and Tariffs on Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets

Martin Alilio et al | 08 Oct 2023
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Seven years ago, the removal of taxes and tariffs on insecticide treated nets (ITNs) was considered one of the easiest resolutions for most countries to implement among the targets agreed upon at the African Summit on Roll Back Malaria in Abuja, Nigeria, on April 25, 2000. However, seven years later, 24 of the 39 Abuja signatories continue to impose taxes and tariffs on this life-saving tool. Taxes and tariffs significantly increase the price of an insecticide treated net, reduce affordability, and discourage the commercial sector from importing insecticide treated net products. Consequently, Roll Back Malaria partners are engaged in advocacy efforts to remove taxes and tariffs on insecticide treated nets in malaria-endemic countries of Africa. This viewpoint summarizes key obstacles to the removal of taxes and tariffs that have been identified through a review of country situations. To achieve the goal of producing and supplying more than 160 million insecticide treated nets needed to reach the revised Roll Back Malaria Partnership targets by 2010, tax and tariff reforms are urgently needed. Such reforms must be accompanied by country-specific systems to protect the poor (e.g., through voucher systems for vulnerable groups and other forms of targeted subsidies).

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