URC Co-hosts Event Highlighting Malaria Prevention Developments to Recognize World Malaria Day

In recognition of World Malaria Day on April 25, URC, the Center for Global Health at George Washington University (GWU), and the USAID Translating Research into Action (TRAction) Project co-hosted a roundtable discussion on new findings in global malaria prevention and control. Entitled "Mosquito Be Dead: Developments in Malaria Prevention," the roundtable took place on April 23, 2013, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

According to the World Malaria Report 2011, substantial progress in worldwide malaria prevention and control has been made through proven methods, such as:

  • Indoor residual spraying, which is the spraying of insecticides on a home's interior walls to kill malaria-transmitting mosquitoes; and
  • Hanging long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs), which are bed nets that protect against mosquito bites and kill mosquitoes on contact with chemicals embedded in their fibers. Using a net is especially important at night, when mosquitoes are most active.

Some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, have protected millions of people from malaria using these methods. However, recent findings suggest new strategies are needed to sustain and expand these advances: many households still do not own or use nets, and questions regarding the cost and long-term effectiveness of these methods are not yet fully answered.

The "Mosquito Be Dead" roundtable explored these issues as panelists shared lessons learned, discussed the research agenda, and addressed future challenges. URC Senior Technical Advisor Dr. David Nicholas moderated a discussion following panelists' remarks. Below is the list of presentations.

The Way Forward in Malaria Prevention and Control
by Dr. Bernard Nahlen, Deputy Coordinator, United States President's Malaria Initiative


Dr. Nahlen set the stage with brief remarks on progress to date and challenges in the future, particularly within the research realm. He addressed issues, such as maintaining substantial progress in reducing the malaria burden and combating emerging and ongoing threats, including insecticide resistance, implementation challenges, and the leveling-off of funding for malaria control.

Lessons Learned from Large-Scale, Door-To-Door, Hang-Up Campaigns for Universal Coverage
by Ms. Joy Riggs-Perla, Director of the International Development Group (presenting on behalf of the USAID Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment (ProMPT) Project), URC

The USAID-funded Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment (ProMPT) Project ended in March with a conference in Accra, Ghana to celebrate the achievements of the country's malaria program. Ms. Riggs-Perla shared lessons discussed at the conference related to LLIN hang-up campaigns, mass distribution of LLINs, and continuous distribution of LLINs through schools. She also addressed the importance of key contributors to program success: local leadership, social mobilization, and improvements in data quality and use.

Click here to see the presentation slides.

Maintaining Universal Coverage: Strategies for Continuous Distribution & Prolonging the Useful Life of Nets
by Ms. Hannah Koenker, Sr. Program Officer, USAID NetWorks Project, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs

Ms. Koenker reviewed how various countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda, are planning, piloting, and implementing continuous distribution of LLINs and discussed two pilot interventions for improving care and repair behaviors to prolong the useful life of nets.

Click here to see the presentation slides.

Insecticide Resistance as a Constraint on the Effectiveness of Malaria Prevention Methods in Africa Is Stimulating New Strategies and Control Tools to Overcome the Problem
by Dr. Mark Rowland, Head of the Department of Disease Control and Deputy Director of the Malaria Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine/USAID TRAction Project

Dr. Rowland addressed the "evolutionary arms race against the malaria parasite and mosquito vector [or carrier]." The development of resistance is part of the price of success against the disease. The challenge is to stay one step ahead by investing in improved tools and developing new strategies that will continue the drive against malaria until it is no more. Dr. Rowland  discussed the development and spread of insecticide resistance in Africa, addressed the question "Is resistance an obstacle to control?" and discussed the importance of identifying new strategies and developing new tools and insecticides to continue progress against malaria.

July 2013 update: Read the Ghana ProMPT Final Project Report to find out more.

Grade 2 students display insecticide-treated nets they received as part of a free net distribution program managed by the USAID ProMPT project and the Ghanaian government. Photo by Felix Nyanor-Fosu.
Grade 2 students display insecticide-treated nets they received as part of a free net distribution program managed by the USAID ProMPT project and the Ghanaian government. Photo by Felix Nyanor-Fosu.
April 26, 2013
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