The guest blog below was contributed by Prof. Matt Thomas, of Penn State University. Read more about Professor Thomas here.
Everybody would like to see the burden of malaria reduced and while there might be some disciplinary biases, most would agree that long-term sustainable management of malaria requires integrated strategies built on solid foundations of local knowledge and capacity.
Of the broad approaches available (and by available I include potential tools somewhere along the development pipeline), vector control is clearly pivotal. This is not to diminish the importance of other technologies, such as drugs or diagnostics, but much of the recent decline in malaria can be attributed to wide-scale implementation of vector control tools such as long lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLINs) and indoor residual insecticide sprays (IRS). Furthermore, in nearly every historical case where malaria has been substantially reduced or locally eliminated, vector control has been key.