Malaria Infection Could Drop By 90 Percent in 2012

Fred Ndoli | 18 Nov 2010
New Times (Kigali)
Malaria infection could reduce by 90 percent by 2012 if indoor residual spraying is fully embraced, the Centre for Treatment and Research on Aids, Malaria, Tuberculosis and other epidemics (TRAC Plus) and the Research Triangle International (RTI), have predicted.

They said this yesterday at a meeting to evaluate the effectiveness of indoor residual spraying, which was attended by various health officials and other development partners.

According to TRAC Plus officials, malaria has currently reduced by 60 percent largely due to indoor residual spraying and the use of long lasting insecticidal nets since their inception in 2007.

"With the 60 percent reduction, we believe that by 2012 at least 90 percent will have been achieved if we intensify the effective use of indoor residual spraying," said Emmanuel Hakizimana, the vector control manager of malaria at TRAC Plus.

"Indoor residual spraying is really combating the malaria parasite, especially among children under five years and pregnant women," he noted, adding that Rwanda is now the fourth in Africa in fighting malaria, following Eritrea, Zanzibar, and Djibouti.

The spraying was conducted from September 7 to October 18 in 36 sectors in the districts of Gasabo, Kicukiro, Nyarugenge, Bugesera, Kirehe, Nyagatare and Nyanza.

According to experts, the indoor residual spraying fights malaria by reducing the life span of vector mosquitoes.

The chief of the indoor residual spraying operations, Stephen Magesa, said the target is to avail bed nets to at least 85 percent of the population by 2012.

A survey conducted by RTI - that is in charge of the spraying operations - indicates that 227,440 children under five and 21,606 of pregnant women were protected from malaria this year.