Malaria Program intensifying intervention in Shefa Province

More than 3,500 residential structures in Teouma area will be sprayed to fight against malaria transmission.

Within this week and next coming months, the malaria program team from Shefa Provincial Health Department is going to spray inside the houses and other juxtaposition of residences in Teouma area on Efate.

Last week, the six operational sprayed teams in Shefa Provincial health were trained, by the World Health Organization (WHO) Vector Control Expert, on essential knowledge and skills in spraying inside the houses to kill insects, particularly mosquitoes, that transmit diseases including malaria.

This intervention, called indoor residual spraying (IRS), is one of the powerful tools in controlling malaria transmission in addition to the routine intervention, the mosquito net pre-treated with long lasting public health medicinal/ chemical compound to kill mosquitoes and to protect people inside the mosquitoes and to protect people sleeping inside the mosquito net.

The targeted sprayed areas in the household are the inside parts of house such as wall, roof, underneath bed or table where malaria mosquitoes preferred landing or hiding before and after coming into the house for seeking their foods, sucking blood from residences.

In addition, other nearby structures such as kitchens, toilets and storerooms will also be sprayed. The chemical sprayed will last for at least 6 months if there is no water from rain or intentional washing.

To increase the effectiveness of this intervention, the Ministry of Health calls for collaboration and participation from the community and respective households.

The sprayed households will receive specific advice, to remove items from inside houses to optimize spray operation, from the operational sprayed team few days prior to conducting indoor spraying.

This intervention culminates with the elimination efforts in Tafea province to minimize and prevent the influx of potential malaria cases from Shefa into Tafea, potentially from Teouma where Tannese families could travel back and forth to visit their relatives in Tafea province.

Under the intensified interventions including household sprayed over the past two years, the malaria cases had been reduced from few hundred of malaria confirmed cases in 2009 to 10 cases during the first 9 months in 2011.

The spraying operation is also on-going in Tanna as the last cycle of intervention, according to WHO Vector Control Expert.

The intervention is financially supported by AusAID and technically guided by the WHO Expert on vector control. The operation expects to be completed within two months.

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