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A novel mosquito net treated with insecticides helps Africa reduce malaria cases

A new mosquito net to fight malaria

African countries, most of which are largely susceptible to malaria, have found a unique way to deal with the problem. A totally new kind of mosquito net.  These mosquito nets are different from the standard nets. The new type of mosquito nets is long lasting, treated with two insecticides — chlorfenapyr and pyrethroid (chlorfenapyr LLIN), Kenya based news organisation the East African said. Demand for this new type of net could rise especially in countries which are battling malaria. A study has shown that the number of malaria cases has actually come down after the use of the novel nets.

While Africa accounts for more than 90 per cent of malaria cases, India represents 3 per cent of the global malaria burden, World Malaria Report 2019 said.

According to a news report published by the East African, chlorfenapyr works differently from pyrethroid, causing wing muscle cramps that stop flight muscles from functioning. This prevents mosquitoes from making host contact or biting, ultimately leading to their death.

It added that the “no flight, no bite mosquito grounding bed net” under the trade name ‘Interceptor® G2 will help in the fight against malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.

Also read: Malaria parasite elements in focus for hints into alternative drug targets

However, challenges remain. Scaling up of this new kind of net may lead to mosquitoes developing resistance.

“The massive scale-up of standard pyrethroid LLINs 10-20 years ago led to the rapid spread of pyrethroid resistance. The challenge now is to preserve chlorfenapyr’s effectiveness by developing rational resistance management strategies,” the East African quoted co-author of the study Natacha Protopopoff as saying.

The latest data by the World Health Organisation revealed that there were 241 million cases of malaria in 2020 compared to 227 million cases in 2019. The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 627 000 in 2020 – an increase of 69 000 deaths over the previous year. While about two thirds of these deaths (47 000) were due to disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the remaining one third of deaths (22 000) reflect a recent change in WHO’s methodology for calculating malaria mortality (irrespective of COVID-19 disruptions).