Anti-malaria programmes need the freedom to fight effectively
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
To help tackle malaria in Nigeria, a 6-monthly programme of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) will commence, according to Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris. He notes that malaria is responsible for 30 percent childhood morbidity and more than 70 per cent of outpatient attendance in the public health facilities in Lagos State.
IPN has previously outlined the huge benefits of IRS for tackling the disease especially in contrast to less efficient methods, such as the dissemination of bed-nets (half of which, in many cases, are not even used).
The programme would therefore seem welcome. Yet Richard Tren and Dipo Salimonu recently outlined the harm caused to such programmes by Western anti-pesticide groups and governments. New IRS programmes may need new chemicals, and the obstacles to innovation in this area remain a major stumbling block.