New bed net to prevent malaria: Lancet

New bed net to prevent malaria: Lancet

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

Vice President CMAAO

President HCFI

Now a new bed net with a specific combination of an insecticide and insect growth regulator can prevent millions of cases of malaria as per The Lancet.

The net contains a pyrethroid insecticide, which repels and kills the mosquitoes, and an insect growth regulator — pyriproxyfen — which shortens the lives of mosquitoes and reduces their ability to reproduce. Compared to conventional nets, this new type of mosquito net reduced the number of cases of clinical malaria by 12 per cent.

In areas with new combination beds, there was also a 51 per cent reduction in risk of a malaria infective mosquito bite. Children sleeping under the new bed nets were 52 per cent less likely to be moderately anaemic.

Insect growth regulators pyriproxyfen (in a sand granule formulation) may also be used in water-filled pits to prevent metamorphosis from larva to pupa to adult. This technique was used in Sri Lanka, where malaria eradication was nearly achieved in the 1960s but disease persisted in areas where pits were dug in search of gems (subsequently, the pits filled with rainwater and became breeding sites for malaria vectors). Treatment of all the pits in four villages achieved reduction in incidence of malaria cases (compared with untreated villages). Retreatment two to three times a year was sufficient.

The Foundation for Disease Elimination and Control of India (FDECINDIA) recommends that bed nets should be available in the open market. As on today they are only under a government supply.

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