December 18, 2015
The President's Malaria Initiative Africa Indoor Residual Spraying Project (PMI AIRS) presented study findings that show a reduction in reported malaria cases in areas sprayed with the newer class of insecticide – organophophates (OPs). As resistance among malaria-carrying mosquitoes to the commonly used pyrethroid insecticide has increased, the PMI AIRS Project has switched to using OPs, which have shown to be more effective in killing mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite. The findings were presented at the American Public Health Association’s 143rd Annual Meeting in Chicago, November 3, 2015. The study, conducted in Zimbabwe, found that when OPs were used in indoor residual spraying (IRS) the number of confirmed malaria cases at health facilities reduced at a higher rate than in areas where no IRS was conducted or where IRS used the pyrethroid insecticide. The cost of OPs is ten times greater than it is for the previously used pyrethroid insecticide, however, OPs are not only more effective but also last longer, allowing the project to reduce the number of times it sprays in one year.