Malaria Mosquito Becoming Resistant to Bed Nets
“The mosquitoes have developed resistance against insecticides used to treat these nets. The nets are treated with insecticides to kill the mosquitoes before they actually bite human beings or their lifespan will be shorter so that they will not be able to transmit the disease. This has been an increasing problem,” said Dr. Desta Tiruneh, World Health Organisation (WHO) Acting Representative to Namibia. He said this is where the insecticide is used for bed net treatment and the spraying of houses for malaria.
“When the same insecticide is used extensively in both cases then mosquitoes are exposed to this insecticide and they tend to develop resistance at a faster rate, this is what we are observing,” Dr. Tiruneh added.
Dr. Tiruneh said the biggest challenge now is how to make sure coverage with indoor spraying of houses is sustained at a high level in order to achieve reduction in the transmission of malaria significantly to assist in achieving the goal of eliminating malaria in Namibia.
According to international reports, a new study, published in the journal PLoS Genetics, found that the primary mosquito that harbors the parasite in southern Africa, Anopheles funestus, is rapidly becoming resistant to the insecticide. In at least one country, Mozambique, researchers discovered that 100 percent of A. funestus remained alive after direct exposure to the chemical.
In Spotlight News this week, we sat down with Dr. Desta Tiruneh, World Health Organisation (WHO) Acting Representative to Namibia shedding light on:
- The reasons why the malaria mosquito is becoming resistant to bed net insecticides,
- Global malaria control especially in Namibia during the current rainy season,
- Eradication efforts,
- And the way forward.