Preventive campaign against malaria in four governorates [Archives:2008/1212/Local News]

December 1 2008

Ali Saeed
SANA'A, Nov. 28 ) In line with efforts to free the Arabian Peninsula of malaria, the Ministry of Health through the national malaria control program has initiated a preventive campaign in four governorates, Sa'ada, Hajja, Hodeidah and Mahwit for 39 days starting from Oct. 25.

Director of the National Malaria Control Program Dr. Adel Al-Jassari said the campaign aims to radically reduce the number of patients and deaths related to malaria by fighting the disease vector, which is the mosquito, in the targeted areas by spraying houses with pesticides that are of long-term effect and carrying out the recommendations of the ninth Yemeni-Saudi meeting of the shared committee in combating malaria in the boarder areas.

Stressing the efficiency of the pesticides, Al-Jassari confirmed there were no negative side effects since the dose is very small and that's the reason they are so expensive.

The spraying process is considered to be one of the most effective methods to prevent malaria and will be used annually until the rate of disease infection is reduced by half. After which the campaign will enter a phase where malaria would be under control, Al-Jassari explained.

The campaign will take place in two stages. The first will target areas in the governorates of Sa'ada and Hajja, while the second will target areas in Hodeidah and Mahwit. The total targeted population is around 376,524 people in 15 districts.

The team carrying out the campaign consists of over 700 workers, 173 observers and 32 supervisors. The quantity of pesticide to be used will be used is about 2,423 kg.

Using insecticides with long-term effect is one of the best ways to combat the disease and involves spraying all the surfaces were mosquitoes could be found including walls, roofs, stables and even beds. The efficiency period of the pesticides varies according to the type, composition and climate. The period of effect usually ranges between a couple of weeks and six months.

In the recently flood-stricken areas of Hadramout and Shabwa, the spraying team is now working now in the Hadramout districts of Wadi Hajr, Broom and Maifa'a where they are using the more advanced method of fog spraying, according to Al-Jassari.

Insufficient financing, lack of awareness and problems created by local councils are part of the challenges facing the spraying team on the ground, says Al-Jassari.

He requested more cooperation from authorities in targeted areas. “We ask the targeted areas to cooperate with spraying teams