PRI Examines Efforts Against Malaria In Malawi

Reporting on PRI’s “The World,” Amy Costello, host of Tiny Spark, “a podcast that investigates the business of doing good,” examines efforts against malaria in Malawi, writing, “Malaria is incredibly common here, despite a multibillion-dollar effort that has drastically reduced the incidence in other parts of Africa.” She continues, “There have been campaigns to kill baby mosquitoes with larvicide,” while “[o]ther campaigns have focused on killing adult mosquitoes by spraying insecticides on the walls of homes,” but “[p]erhaps the best-known campaign has focused on bed nets.” She discusses the distribution of bed nets in the country, highlighting early concerns, and examines how mosquitoes in the region have developed resistance to the chemicals used on the nets. Costello notes that Janet Hemingway, a malaria researcher and director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the U.K., “agrees with other health experts that bed nets remain a crucial part of malaria control in Africa. But Hemingway does argue that those behind the bed net campaign should have made a bigger push — early on — to develop new insecticides” for the nets. “She [also] contends that those who organized the bed net campaign should have put a greater focus on developing stronger nets — ones that would withstand wear and tear,” Costello adds, noting the WHO “predicts that if the insecticides on bed nets continue to fail, an additional 120,000 African children will die from malaria each year.” An audio version of the report is available online (7/15).

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