Indoor Residual Spraying campaign starts to eliminate anopheles mosquitoes
The World Health Organisation in Namibia this week launched the 2018 Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) campaign, which is one of the key interventions to eliminate malaria.
Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, Country Representative of the WHO said Namibia has made remarkable progress during the last two decades in reducing the burden of malaria. “However, the country has experienced seasonal malaria outbreaks in a few northern districts since 2014 with an upward trend of cases being reported in 2016 and 2017,” he said.
“Malaria continues to have a severe socioeconomic impact on populations and it is one of the causes of household poverty because it results in absenteeism from the daily activities of productive living and income generation. Some of the challenges impeding countries’ abilities to stay on track and advance to elimination include lack of sustainable funding, anomalous climate patterns, the emergence of parasites resistant to anti-malarial medicines and mosquito resistance to insecticide,” he added.
He emphasised that to tackle the disease, they have come up with a strategy based on the three key pillars, which are to ensure universal access to malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment, to accelerate efforts to eliminate the disease and attain malaria-free status, and to transform malaria surveillance into a core intervention.
“Generally, vector control strategies should be devised through an integrated vector management approach and countries are required to develop and apply insecticide resistance monitoring and management plans that leverage available tools appropriately,” he said.
He acknowledged the effort of the Ministry of Health and Social Services for the recent Insecticide Resistance survey which showed pyrethroid resistance for Delthametrin in a few sentinel sites that led to the switch to an organophosphate, Actellic, for IRS in the areas where resistance was recorded.
“We support the efforts of the health ministry in the elimination of malaria and one of the key interventions is IRS which needs to be implemented at high coverage and with the required standards and quality,” he concluded.