Lagos steps up malaria war with indoor spraying

Joshua Bassey | 19 Mar 2010
Lagos State government has begun the pilot scheme of the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in two high malaria burden areas in the Ikorodu and Otto-Awori in Ojo area of the state, commissioner for health, Jide Idris has said.

The IRS is the application of safe and effective chemical/insecticide on walls and ceilings of houses to kill mosquitoes and other harmful insects and this is to be administered in Abule Era, Era, Ketu, IIogbo Elegba communities in the Otto-Awori as well as Imota in the Ikorodu Local Government Area.

The benefiting communities, according to Idris, were picked following a rigorous selection process with criteria which include high malaria burden, mass deployment of long lasting insecticide treated nets, community acceptance and involvement in previous interventions.

The commissioner noted that the cosmopolitan nature of the state, coupled with the abundant distribution of coastal areas, encourages the development of stagnant water responsible for the breeding of anopheles mosquito, a situation that contributes to the stable pattern and continuous transmission of malaria all year round.

"The previous malaria control interventions focused mainly on the treatment of malaria cases in all age groups, promotion of the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and the provision of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy.

Morbidity and mortality trend of malaria cases continue to worsen due to the spread of chloroquine resistant strains of plasmodium, crumbling infrastructure of primary healthcare centres and poor utilisation of insecticide-treated bed nets. The malaria surveillance reports as summarised in the annual integrated diseases surveillance and response indicated that the previous malaria control interventions did not show significant impact as the prevalence of malaria cases continues to rise."