FAQ's:
Why Are Multiple Strategies Needed to Control Malaria?


  • Multiple strategies against malaria are needed because there are numerous species of vectors and four species of Plasmodium.
  • Some populations of Plasmodium, especially Plasmodium falciparum, are resistant to drugs, so alternative drugs need to be used.
  • Research needs to be done on new drugs as a "reserve weapon" for future cases of drug resistance. Unfortunately, drug resistance is more common in malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous type of malaria, than in the other three species.
  • Some populations of mosquitoes have developed resistance to certain insecticides. This resistance may be of varying degrees. It is important that alternative insecticides be available for breaking human-vector contact.
  • Dwellings are constructed differently in different parts of the world, and thus different strategies may be appropriate in different places.
Please Name Some Specific Strategies for Malaria Control:
  • Screening:Screening of Dwellings to Prevent Malaria Mosquitoes from Entering and Biting the People Inside. Screening is a positive development measure. Screening of buildings also improves people's lives in other ways i.e. keeping flies out of homes and cafes. Where it is possible [i.e. buildings have four walls] to put screens on windows and screen doors on doors, screening should be encouraged. Screening is also a useful adjunct to use of a treated bednet or residual treatment of walls because it reduces the number of malaria mosquitoes entering and leaving the building and increases the odds that Anopheles mosquitoes that get into the building will be exposed to the treated bednet or residual treatment.
  • Source reduction: This is possible in some conditions but very difficult in other conditions. Malaria mosquitoes breed in many different locations. Source reduction is particularly useful if mosquitoes are breeding in man-made containers such as water tanks or at construction sites. If the mosquitoes are breeding in water tanks, for example, it is possible to screen the tanks. However, if the malaria mosquitoes are breeding in a swamp, it is not always possible nore wise to attempt to drain the swamp. Thus, other strategies for breaking transmission may need to be used.
  • Drug treatment of malaria patients:
    • People who have malaria have parasites available for malaria mosquitoes that bite them. If they are treated with appropriate drugs, the parasites disappear from their blood and are not available to the mosquitoes. This helps to reduce the transmission of malaria.
    • Unfortunately, however, often not everybody who has malaria parasites available for mosquitoes shows the symptoms of malaria. In some areas, including Africa, a very large percentage of people [over 50%] may have malaria parasites yet only some people [mostly small children and pregnant women] show the symptoms. Thus, drug treatment of patients is a helpful technique in controlling malaria, but it cannot be the ONLY technique.
    • Malaria is becoming resistant to several of the drugs used to treat it, and thus alternative strategies need to be used.
  • Use of insect repellents: This is especially recommended for those who are travelling or are temporarily in malarious areas. This strategy is too expensive for many people who actually live in malarious areas.
  • Use of mosquito mats and coils: This is similar to the use of repellents. Some people may be allergic to the smoke that these devices emit, and for some, these devices are too expensive.
  • Use of bednets that are treated with an insecticide: This is a strategy that has been proven to be effective in reducing childhood morbidity and mortality in numerous studies in subSaharan Africa by up to 35%. The mosquitoes that land on the net are prevented from biting the person sleeping under the net, and mosquitoes often avoid the net altogether.
  • Residual treatment of interior walls: In many instances, malaria mosquitoes rest on the walls before or after biting people. Residual treatment of the walls inside a house repels or kills the mosquitoes. This malaria control strategy is very effective where houses have four walls. An insecticide with residual activity needs to be used so that the treatment lasts for some months. Some insecticides are more expensive than others. Also, malaria mosquitoes in some places are resistant to some insecticides. Thus, a large variety of possible insecticides need to be available for this purpose.


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