Vector Control, Saving Lives

Insecticide resistance is the greatest biological threat to malaria control in Africa

Burkina Faso young woman
09 September 2015
Jessica Carreg

The critical situation we are now facing with insecticide resistance in Africa is a direct consequence of underinvestment in public health insecticides. This bold statement by Professor Hilary Ransom of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine at the European Congress on Tropical Medicine and Health in Basel underlined her argument that we need urgently new insecticides if the amazing gains in malaria reduction are to be continued.

Professor Ransom is one of the world's leading authorities on insecticide resistance so anything she says must be taken seriously. Her warning that pyrethroid resistance is the biggest biological threat to malaria control in Africa is a chilling reminder that the battle against malaria transmission is not for the faint hearted. Increased investment in vector control tools and systems are vital if the investments of the past are not to be wasted. 

Although there are 'temporary' solutions that are having some effect on holding back the effects of insecticide resistance the urgent need for new vector control products is apparent. And the new products that are in the pipeline must be rationally deployed in order to slow down future resistance developing.

Dr Ransom produced the facts and figures to support her conclusions, including some very recent as yet unpublished studies.