Nationmedia reports that East Africa’s first large-scale factory for new-generation anti-malaria bednets, which is expected to produce 10 million units per year, is soon to begin full-scale production. This venture, a 50/50 joint venture between Sumitomo Chemical (Japan) and A-to-Z Textile Mills (Tanzania), will be run by a subsidiary of the two, Vector Health International (VHI), which began a royalty-free technology transfer programme in 2003. When it is fully operational it will directly employ 3,300 people and support up to 30,000 others. A-to-Z Textile Mills, a medium-sized business founded in 1966 in Arusha as a small garment manufacturer, pany began making polyester bednets in 1978. VI will produce Olyset Net, a type of long-lasting insecticidal net, which malaria experts say can be used for more than five years without requiring reinforcement with additional insecticides (most conventional nets last about three years and require occasional re-treatment to remain effective).