Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets
The Anopheles mosquito bites between dusk and dawn, therefore, mosquito nets treated with insecticides provide a critical line of defense against the spread of malaria. Insecticide treated nets can avert around 50 percent of malaria cases and reduce all-cause child mortality by approximately 18 percent.
Insecticide treated nets can protect families from the bites of mosquitoes (and other nightime biting insects) and reduce the overall number of mosquitoes by killing those that come into contact with the net. Long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are mosquito nets with insecticide incorporated within the material or bound around the fibres during manufacture. LLINs are increasingly being distributed in place of conventionally treated nets which need retreating with insecticide regularly. LLINs can be washed 20 times and used for three years without needing retreatment, therefore, they are more cost effective especially to remote communities.
1. Indoor Residual Spraying involves spraying the internal surfaces of houses to kill adult mosquitoes. It is one of the most powerful malaria control measures lowering malaria incidence by reducing the life span of the female mosquito, reducing the mosquito population and reducing human/mosquito contact.
2. Space spraying is most commonly used as a control measure during malaria epidemics. It involves spraying a 'fog' of insecticide into the air and requires large resources of insecticide and specialist equipment to be effective, rendering it only a short-term solution.
3. Larval Control is the chemical spraying of water sources to kill mosquito larvae preventing or reducing mosquito breeding sites. Mosquito larvae eating fish have also been used as a biological control in wells and irrigation canals.
For more information, read our fact sheet on insecticides and their use. Click here
Intermittent Preventative Treatment
Intermittent preventive treatment involves the administration of a full course of anti-malarial drugs to vulnerable subjects at specified times regardless of whether or not they have malaria. It is particularly targeted at children and pregnant women in high risk areas.
Malaria vaccines are an area of intensive research. Although there is currently no vaccine in use, trials are underway and it is hoped that one will be available for widespread use within the next decade. Vaccine development is a costly but potentially revolutionary area of malaria prevention, and one that requires ongoing funding. A vaccine will not, however, be 100 percent effective so all other prevention and control activities will need to remain in place.