Anti-vector interventions are proven strategies in preventing transmission of malaria. As such, these efforts remain integral in the global fight against malaria which has, by most counts, made slow but steady progress. But the spread of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes -- most recently reported in Nature (Malaria surge feared, 15 May 2012) -- puts this in jeopardy. In various countries, resistance to DDT, pyrethroid, but also carbamates and organophosphates, has been discovered and is now threatening the sustainability of vector control programmes. Globally, resistance to insecticides is hard to assess as there is no international database for malaria vector surveillance.
For those who have been working to stave off malaria for decades, this is not news. Many would like to see more comprehensive, and carefully planned, vector control strategies. In this context, some see the publication of the WHO Global Plan for Insecticide Resistance Management in Malaria Vectors as a step in the right direction, but others think it’s too little, too late. “Insecticides are drugs for the environment. As such, they need to be prescribed by trained professionals and used when needed and as directed,” recently wrote Manuel Lluberas, a public health entomologist.
Led by community moderator Mike Reddy, Ph.D., we invite you to join a free virtual discussion on the future of malaria vector control and insecticides, June 25-29, 2012, in the malaria community of Global Health Delivery Online (GHDonline.org) with panelists:
- Prof. Janet Hemingway, Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Head of the Innovative Vector Control Consortium;
- Anthony Kiszewski, Associate Professor at Bentley University and visiting scientist at Harvard School of Public Health
- Manuel F. Lluberas, Public Health Entomologist and Executive Director for Public Health at H. D. Hudson Manufacturing Company
- How are insecticides used in your area, country?
- What role should insecticides play in anti-malaria efforts going forward?
- What alternative approaches should be considered?
- How can resistance to insecticides be mitigated? Mosaic spraying? Switching insecticides?
- Is there enough political-will and economic support for developing comprehensive, safe, and sustainable approaches?