Students’ Field Research Project on Malaria: a Viable Approach to Malarial Eradication
This article is the prosecution of “Students’ Field Research Project on Malaria: NIMR, the first line of defense“, illustrating the innovative method of control of malaria transmission experimented by Louis-Georges Roumy1, Niccolò Stomeo1, Abu Elamin1 Khattab Ayman 2 and Seppo Meri1,2 during their medical research experience.
1 Humanitas Institute, Milan, Italy
2 University of Helsinki, Finland
Vector Control: The final step towards Malaria Eradication?
Written by Roumy Louis-Georges, Stomeo Niccolò, Elamin Abu, Hunimed Students
Read the origin of the project, the key characteristics of malaria and a new method of control in the previous articles: “Introduction“; “Malaria – A modern plague“; “NIMR: The first line of defense“.
A viable approach to malarial eradication
If the 3D double-screens prove to be successfully implemented in normal houses, this method could be widely utilised in all East African countries and thereby reduce the rate of new malarial infections.
With certain location-specific customisations these 3D screens have the potential to be used in a wider array of settings, i.e. West Africa.
This affordable method could be adopted without a huge cost for local districts and governments. Moreover these 3D screens do not require special skills for use or maintenance in order to be highly effective. By preventing humans acting as malarial reservoirs for further infection, malaria could eventually be controlled to levels seen in non-endemic areas.
The fact that the project does not involve chemical treatment of the nets means that it is environmentally friendly. There is the potential to manufacture the net from biodegradable and locally available materials in order to render the nets even more economically and logistically affordable.
The second advantage of a pesticide free method is that it does not contribute to the vicious loop of resistance and it is therefore free of possible health consequences related to the management of chemicals by local personnel.
Also, by the double screen technique we can trap vectors in a sufficient number that allows both a statistical and laboratorial analysis.
Although this project works extremely well both theoretically and also in the standardised setting, it is paramount to take into account the many possible factors that may hinder the project, such as: government compliance, sustained spending, logistics of distribution as well as coordination. If these factors are overcome, this project has tremendous potential and could well and truly be a definitive stride in the direction of eradicating malaria.