Back in March when COVID-19 hit, some scientists worried malaria cases and deaths might soar. African countries went on lockdown; worried about mass gatherings, they suspended campaigns to distribute mosquito-fighting bed nets. Fears abounded that with clinics overwhelmed by COVID-19, patients would be unable to get treatment for malaria.
RTS,S/AS01, the most advanced vaccine against malaria, is now undergoing pilot implementation in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya where an estimated 360,000 children will be vaccinated each year. In this study we evaluate RTS,S/AS01 alongside bed net use and estimate cost-effectiveness.
While bed nets and insecticide spraying have had significant impact on malaria burden in many endemic regions, outdoor vector feeding and insecticide resistance may ultimately limit their contribution to elimination and control campaigns. Complementary vector control methods such as endectocides or systemic insecticides, where humans or animals are treated with drugs that kill mosquitoes upon ingestion via blood meal, are therefore generating much interest. This work explores the conditions under which long-lasting systemic insecticides would have a substantial impact on transmission and burden.
Malaria infection in pregnant women is common even after a bed net campaign in Malawi, though prevalence rates declined.