SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Experts in vector biology seek solutions for insecticide resistance to prevent malaria

The report outlines the last 15 years of progress that has been made in preventing, controlling and treating malaria. | File photo

Researchers in the field of vector biology recently combined a report encouraging scientists to develop solutions for growing insecticides resistance, which could serve to undermine the progress that has been made in preventing malaria’s spread.

The editorial was written by 15 prominent scientists involved in vector biology and was published in The Lancet journal.

"Countries should be helped to develop rational malaria prevention strategies in order to prolong the efficacy of current vector control methods, ensuring that their efforts are adequately resourced,” Janet Hemingway, director of the Liverpooly School of Tropical Medicine, said. “In terms of new products, it is vital that we do all that we can to overcome hurdles that are preventing them from being brought to market now, and introduce them in a format that will ensure they are not rapidly compromised by resistance. All key stakeholders must be committed to playing their parts, or much of the hard-won progress in reducing malaria transmission will be lost."

The report outlines the last 15 years of progress that has been made in preventing, controlling and treating malaria. Since 2000, there have been significant declines in the disease and its prevalence within the nation of Africa.

All of this progress could be lost if there continues to be resistance to insecticides that are usually used to eliminate mosquitoes.

When the mosquitoes and parasites first showed resistance, officials with the World Health Organization (WHO) encouraged health workers to use artemisinin combination to treat malaria. Unfortunately, controlling the disease means using insecticides called pyrethroids. In 2013, it was used in approximately two-thirds of all indoor residual spraying programs.

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Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Pembroke Place Liverpool, L3 5QA

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