Malaria Tool Tracks Insecticide ResistanceThe fight against one of the major hindrances of Malaria prevention, Insecticide Resistance (IR), has recently gained a major asset, the IR Mapper. As an interactive online mapping tool, it tracks IR in malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

The IR Mapper “consolidates reports of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors onto filterable maps to inform vector control strategies.” Collected through the cooperative efforts of Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the information was brought together by Vestergaard Frandsen, a Swiss company. Lastly, the design for the interactive map came from ESRI Eastern Africa.

Today, insecticide plays a valuable role in the prevention of malaria. Spraying a house with insecticide ensures mosquito prevention within homes lasting from 3-6 months. Similarly, insecticide-treated bed nets are extremely valuable and, as the CDC found, these bed nets reduced deaths of children under 5 from all causes by roughly 20 percent.

Yet, the successes of insecticide are in danger if insecticide resistance is not combated. IR has been found in two-thirds of malaria prevalent countries. This large percentage of countries hindered by IR displays the importance of the IR Mapper.

Estimated that 26 million more new malaria cases might occur if the action doesn’t occur against IR, this interactive map will provide the needed knowledge to health-care workers on the ground.

These IR Maps provide a new means of knowing where insecticide is facing confrontation with IR strains of malaria. This new map of information allows users to “guide the deployment of insecticidal tools to ensure the right tool is used in the right place at the right time,” according to IR Mapper’s homepage.

With maps that are armed with data spanning 1954 to present with detailed information on the current susceptibility situation with the mapped pinpoint.

To gain the information necessary to fill the maps the team acquired data from scientific articles and reports and from the IR focused database IRBase.

With this information public, more policies will be constructed with better knowledge and more research will be widespread to excel the deterrence of malaria.

– Michael Carney

Sources: CDC, IR Mapper, IRIN
Photo: Flickr