Tanzania: Fight Against Malaria Intensifies As Research Continues

IN a move to make sure that Tanzania reaches its national target of eliminating malaria prevalence from the current 7.3 per cent to 1 per cent by the year 2020, Tanzanians have been urged to use hybrid pesticides and insecticide treated mosquito nets.

The advice was issued by The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)- Amani centre researcher, Dr Patrick Tungu.

Dr Tungu said the new hybrid mosquito treated nets have been tested and displayed efficacy of combating anopheles mosquitoes by at least 36 per cent and preventing malaria transmission by 44 per cent.

He said NIMR- Amani conducted a three year medical research for the hybrid treated mosquito nets against malaria transmitted mosquito which showed positive outcomes.

The research which was coordinated by World Health Organisation (WHO) had been conducted for three years in two countries in Africa and carried out by National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)-Amani centre in Muheza and published in the World Science journal in 2014.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the 'Daily News', Dr Patrick Tungu explained that the research had been carried to test hybrid treated mosquito nets which were being sprayed with pyrethroid pesticides and piperonyl butoxide insecticide to see its efficiency in controlling mosquitoes which transmit malaria parasites.

He said the hybrid treated mosquito nets have been tested in NIMR experimental huts and households as means of controlling malaria.

He elaborated that the research outcomes indicate that mosquito nets treated with pesticides and insecticide show efficiency and efficacy of controlling and killing mosquitoes which previously had showed persistence against Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and Indoor Treated Nets (ITNs) by 36 per cent compared to mosquito nets with pyrethroid pesticide only.

"We tested the alternative mosquito nets with hybrid of pyrethroid pesticides and piperonyl butoxide insecticide and they displayed great improvement in combating mosquitoes which spread malaria parasites," he said.

He added that the research outcomes further noticed that piperonyl butoxide insecticide had reduced malaria infection by 44 per cent in the first year of research and experiment compared to mosquito nets sprayed with pyrethroid pesticides only.

"Our recommendations for eliminating malaria prevalence to all stakeholders dealing with malaria elimination programme is that they should distribute these hybrid mosquito nets in large numbers, mostly in areas with high burden of malaria infections," he said.

According to the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children data, malaria prevalence has declined in the country from an average of 18.1 per cent in 2008 to 7.3 per cent in 2017.

The National goal is to reduce malaria prevalence to reach 1 per cent by 2020.

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