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tanzania warming climate threatens highlands

March 3, 2011 - 08:46 -- malcolm doherty

We see the news that the highlands of Tanzania are under threat of increased malaria due to the warming climate.
I live in Meyer and trust me it is here.
The amount of mosquitoes has increased greatly as with malaria.
even last week I had my youngest child tested at 2am when temperature was high and coffing increased, for once I was glad it was the usual cold and chest that is infamous here in the highlands.
Clinics are now gearing to the prick and show tests to reduce the waiting lines at the laboratory, everywhere is now suffering from all forms of mosquito and therefore it follows that the malaria will increase with it.
Nets have been handed out here and they help, the problem is they are not maintained as they should be and education is low. A net hung on nails will end up with holes; even a small one renders it useless.
We are in the rainy season at the moment and with the warming climate the breeding is prolific.


Submitted by Wallace Peters on

I was shocked to read about the extent to which the transmission of malaria has intensified in the highland areas of Tanzania. I was the sole doctor in Njombe from 1951 to 1953. One rarely encountered a patient with malaria there at that time and those that we did see had recently visited or resided at lower altitudes. While in the Njombe area I made extensive surveys of the mosquito fauna. Although I discovered and described several new species of Anopheles I never found any of the known malaria vectors. The climate in Njombe in those days resembled that of the Scottish highlands, pleasantly warm during the day and cold enough to enjoy a good log fire at night. Climate change is a mild way of describing the situation as it is there now.

Wallace Peters

Submitted by Rune Bosselmann on

A net with small holes will generally still work. Some brands (with a specific insecticide) of nets do not knock the mosquitoes down on contact and the mosquito may successfully probe the net for holes. The mosquito has likely picked up a lethal dose and will die later. There is still a mass effect to the general advantage of the population in the area and this in itself is a reason not to discontinue use of nets with small holes.
For the person underneath the net, it is rather unfortunate if the mosquito is already a carrier of the parasite, of course.
If the person sleeping under the nets was to be a source of malaria for the mosquito to transmit, the holed net would likely break the transmission route.

In areas with kdr resistance, this scenario may hold true for all nets.

In any case the message is, dont just discard nets as soon as you find holes. Try to mend them first. If not successful keep using it until you can find a replacement.

Rune Bosselmann




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