Most mosquito bites occur at night but some mosquitoes reach out for blood even during the day. Fortunately, malaria alleviation moved a step forward, last year, with the World Health Organisation reporting a reduction in deaths by half, but what does this mean for sub-Saharan Africa, the most affected region?
When insecticide-treated nets are used properly by three-quarters of the people in a community, malaria transmission is cut by 50 per cent, child deaths are reduced by 20 per cent, and the mosquito population drops by as much as 90 per cent.
A rise in malaria cases
The Minister for Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, blamed the current rise in malaria incidences on substandard bed nets supplied by Netprotect.
Netprotect is a Danish company that was hired on an estimated $15 million to supply over three million nets in 2013 only for it to supply substandard nets.
“Now three million mosquito nets currently in use within the country are less efficient because they do not have enough medicine to kill mosquitoes,” Dr Binagwaho said.
This is unfortunate considering that malaria contributes about 24 per cent of the total global death burden.
However, recommendations suggest eradication of malaria to be handled in a holistic manner, and that users should know that proper usage is much more effective than how defective a net is, because even a bad net will not let in mosquitos unless it torn or misused.
Mosquito insecticide-treated nets have long been used in the fight against mosquito bites, and have been shown to give substantial protection against malaria, but no room to guarantee effectiveness hence calling for a set of operational procedures to be followed by everyone.