Drug-laced mosquito net may help prevent malaria: Study

A novel mosquito net that contains insecticides could prevent millions of cases of malaria. This is as per Lancet study which stated that a two-year clinical trial in West Africa involving 2,000 children showed that the number of cases of clinical malaria was reduced by 12 per cent with the new type of mosquito net compared to the conventional one used normally.

The nets used in the study contain a pyrethroid insecticide, which repels and kills the mosquitoes, as well as an insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen, which shortens the lives of mosquitoes and reduces their ability to reproduce. Scientists including those from Durham University and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK found that sleeping under the new bed nets were 52 per cent less likely to be Malaria anaemic than those with a conventional net.

Malaria anaemia is a major cause of mortality in children under two years old. Blood-seeking malaria mosquitoes (female Anopheles mosquitoes) are increasingly becoming resistant to the most common insecticides, called pyrethroids, used to treat traditional bed nets.
The latest figures from the World Health Organisation show that in 2016 malaria infected about 216 million people across 91 countries, up five million from the previous year. The disease killed 4 lakh 45,000 people which was about the same number as in 2015. The majority of deaths were in children under the age of five in the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

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