01 May 2018 | Press releases

New boost to Ghana’s malaria control programme

Image: IVCC

Accra – Ghana Health Services has introduced a new-generation insecticide to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes, giving a major boost to the National Malaria Control Programme.

The new insecticide, SumiShield® 50WG, developed by Sumitomo Chemical Company with support from Innovative Vector Control Consortium, will be used for indoor residual spraying. The application of long-lasting insecticide to walls and ceilings of homes has been very effective in cutting down on malaria cases and deaths.

SumiShield® 50WG has a totally new mode of action, and contains the first new chemistry in 40 years to be recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for indoor residual spraying. The application of long-lasting insecticide in and around homes has been very effective in cutting down on malaria cases and deaths.

With support from Unitaid, new indoor residual spray formulas have been introduced into a number of countries’ malaria control programmes, replacing older insecticides to which mosquitoes have become resistant.

“Ghana’s malaria response received a boost today through the introduction of a new insecticide by Sumitomo Chemical,” Ghana Deputy Minister of Health Tina Mensah said at a launch event in Accra on Monday. “There is one challenge that threatens the gains made, which is mosquitoes building resistance to the indoor residual spraying insecticides.”

SumiShield® 50WG, which received its World Health Organization pre-qualification in October 2017, can be used in rotation with Syngenta’s Actellic® 300CS. The insecticides are strategically rotated in different regions so that mosquitoes cannot easily develop resistance to them, and they can be used longer to protect people from malaria. Introduced in 2016, Actellic® 300CS was the first of the new-generation insecticides to be successfully deployed in Ghana.

Indoor residual spraying is one of several tools supporting the National Malaria Control Programme’s goal of reducing malaria illness and death by 75 percent in Ghana between 2012 and 2020.

In 2017, implementers of spraying efforts in Ghana were able to significantly expand their coverage area, supported by the Unitaid-funded NgenIRS project. The two implementers are AGAMal, funded by the Global Fund, and PMI AIRS, now known as PMI VectorLink. Nearly, 400,000 homes were sprayed last year in the Upper-west, Northern and Upper-east regions of the country.

Unitaid Executive Director Lelio Marmora said: “We are delighted to see Ghana on the frontlines of tackling insecticide resistance as part of its efforts to end malaria.  With Unitaid’s support, new and affordable insecticides are now on the market that will help protect families from this life-threatening disease.”

Nick Hamon, CEO of the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) which manages the NgenIRS project added: “Insecticide resistance poses a major threat to the national malaria control programmes across sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana.  With our industry partners and funders, IVCC is developing a strong pipeline of new vector control interventions which, when used in rotation, will significantly reduce the likelihood of resistance becoming established.”

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