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TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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Wall Linings for malaria prevention

By Bernard Okebe - Kenya  

When the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Center for Disease Control (KEMRI/CDC0 introduced insecticide-treated wall linings as a preventive mosquito control mechanism, residents in the project area viewed it with suspicion, wondering if it was practicable.

One year down the line, the skepticism has been replaced with optimism and in Western Kenya where the malaria researchers have managed to convert majority of the residents into campaigner to help draw more support for the intervention.

Drawing inspiration from a previous programme conducted in Usoma village in Kisumu, KEMRI/CDC researchers then took it miles further by initiating a pilot project in two other districts of Gem and Rarieda in the Malaria-endemic Nyanza province.    

The wall lining project which was initially scheduled to last for 1 year has since been extended for about a year.

 Insecticide-treated wall linings being inspected

According to Dr George Olan’g of the KEMRI/CDC Entomology department, the previous year brought encouraging news to the fight against Malaria, thus calling for the extension of the study.

In an interview with Eyesonmalaria, Dr. Olan’g, said researchers are still monitoring the Mosquito population and conducting the Laboratory tests from the selected villages in the two districts of Gem and Rarieda.

He said the work is ongoing in Nyamboyo, Kitambo, Boi, Saradidi, Kawamangaria, Wambusa, Kawino, Abidha, Ochinya, Got Anyango Luoro, and Nyore villages on the prevention and control of the killer disease. 

AMMREN-Kenya journalists at an insecticide-treated wall lining trial site

The scientist affirmed that the mosquito numbers have drastically reduced from the households in the study.  

In their monitoring of some randomly selected compounds, they find the wall linings that were put about a year ago still intact, an indication of the great care the users have attached to the initiative.

"We are still doing the wall-lining Bioassay (a test used to determine the strength or activity of a drug on a test organism) so as to determine the efficacy," said Dr Olan’g who has become popular among the participants.

KEMRI/CDC’s head of Malaria Research in Kisumu's Kisian station, Dr Simon Kariuki confirmed that more work is expected on the initiative in view of the great response from the participating villages.     

Wambusa is one of the villages which have sprung to fame, thanks to the research. The village receives increasing numbers of guests daily. The villagers speak with contentment about the positive impact of the wall linings, whose introduction stirred a hornet’s nest at the onset.

 The pilot project which tests the strengths of the durable wall linings in selected villages, will herald a new preventive approach to the fight against malaria. 

The villagers confess that the durable insecticide treated wall linings, which are put in the eaves and the interior walls of the houses, have reduced the mosquito population in their homes.

Eunice Anyango is an elated beneficiary of the project who says "This is much easier to use unlike the spraying method which requires extra caution to use and handle. We regret that we almost rejected a life saving project when the KEMRI/CDC people first came here. With this initiative the threat of malaria will be checked.”

"Even in the local Luo dailect there goes a saying which encourages prevention rather than cure. We now see clearly that there’s true wisdom in the saying" beams Anyango, a mother of four.

Mzee Asman Sawo's home was used in the piloting project in Usoma village. The homestead has steadily been receiving guests from around and far places to learn about the initiative which they believe is best placed to control malaria especially in rural places where other control methods may not be affordable for the community.

KEMRI/CDC launched the survey to study the effectiveness of using insecticide-treated wall linings to prevent malaria. This is a new product that has been developed by Vestergaad Frandsten as a substitute for indoor residual spraying (IRS).

Insecticide-treated bed nets and IRS are currently the primary interventions used in curtailing malaria transmission. However, an IRS programme has challenges:

  • It requires repeat sprayings
  • It thrives on smooth and non-porous wall surfaces
  • Needs costly equipment and protective gear
  • Complex personnel logistics,
  • Issues of safety and acceptability
  • and
  • Inadequate cost-effectiveness.

Dr Simon Kariuki, who heads another centre in the Siaya area of Nyanza province, said progress on the insecticide-treated wall linings project and other initiatives is a clear pointer that Africa is chalking up great success in its quest to eradicate malaria.

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