African governments asked to commit resources for malarial control

Mr Andrew Deyi Saibu, the West Africa Regional Coordinator for the Next Generation Indoor Residual (NgenIRS) Project has appealed to African governments and the private sector to commit more resources to support in the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) project.

This, he said would help to control and eliminate malaria.

Mr Saibu was speaking to the GNA on the sidelines of the PMI/Abt 2017 Indoor Residual Spraying campaign launch in Karaga at the weekend where it was announced that over 300,000 rooms in seven districts in the Northern Region were to be sprayed against malaria.

He said the last 15 years had seen progress towards the control and elimination of malaria and that it required the joint efforts of governments and the private sector to commit more resources to compliment efforts of donor and development partners to ensure total elimination of the disease, which could help reduce infant and maternal mortality.

He said Vector control by use of both Long Lasting Insecticide Treated bed Nets (LLINs) and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) have been a cornerstone of malaria control and responsible for the majority of the significant reduction of malaria cases and deaths.

However, these gains are threatened by rapid development and spread of resistance to insecticides. Mosquito resistance to pyrethroid insecticides, the only products approved to treat bed nets, is widespread in malaria-endemic countries, he said.

Mr Saibu said to maintain protection from transmission and preserve the efficacy of the current pyrethroid-based LLINs, insecticide resistance management (IRM) using effective non-pyrethroid mosquito control interventions was urgently needed.

Recently, new long lasting non-pyrethroid insecticide formulations (referred to in this project as Third Generation IRS products 3GIRS) have been developed and approved for use, and that early experience indicated that this new class of insecticides could be highly effective in reducing malaria transmission, but coverage of IRS in Africa had fallen 40 per cent in the past four years.

He explained that, This is because there is only one 3GIRS product on the market and it is considerably more expensive than previous insecticides for IRS, forcing control programmes to limit coverage or abandon IRS altogether.

He said as a result of these gaps identified, the Innovation Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) designed the Next Generation Indoor Residual Spraying (NgenIRS) project with its partners with funding from UNITAID NgenIRS for a four (4) year project (2016- 2019), which is led by IVCC.

He said over two million vulnerable people would be supported during the IRS campaign for Ghana and assured that the NgenIRS would continue to provide co-payment to all the IRS Districts in Ghana being supported by Global Fund /NMCP and the PMI /Abt Associate projects.

He said Ghana was one of the twelve (12) beneficiary countries of the NgenIRS project in Africa and that the main objectives of the NgenIRS were to increase the size of the market by introducing co-payment to increase the number of countries using 3GIRS products and increasing the scale at which they do so.

It also introduced an improved system for forecasting of demand for 3GIRS products and under write that forecast in return for price reductions and to accelerate the development of alternate products from the high quality supplier base among others.

Source: Ghana News Agency