New initiative to boost malaria control and combat insecticide resistance

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UNITAID and IVCC (Innovative Vector Control Consortium) today announced an initiative to expand the use of new anti-malarial insecticides to maintain the important role of mosquito control in combating malaria.

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This is the first of many other initiatives by UNITAID to control the spread of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of UNITAID

The US $65.1 million initiative, Next generation Indoor Residual Spray, will support countries in obtaining new and effective insecticides at lower prices to spray walls in homes and fight growing insecticide resistance. Over four years, the project aims to protect as many as 50 million people from malaria in 16 African countries. Despite its effectiveness in combating malaria, indoor spraying of walls has fallen by 40 per cent in the past four years due to increased resistance to older products and higher cost of new alternatives.

UNITAID and IVCC will team up with the US President’s Malaria Initiative, Abt Associates, PATH and the Global Fund to work with industry and country malaria-control programmes to make alternative insecticides with high efficacy more readily available in countries with a high burden of malaria. The initiative will use a co-payment from UNITAID to bring down the price of these new and more effective products in the short term. A further aim is to reduce the cost of procuring products in the long term through improved forecasting and increased competition among manufacturers.

“The initiative is about bolstering the central role of insecticides in controlling malaria. If the resistance continues to spread unabated, there could be 120,000 more deaths from malaria a year. Unless newer insecticides are used, we run the risk of considerable reversals in the fight against malaria,” said Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of UNITAID. “This is the first of many other initiatives by UNITAID to control the spread of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes.”

“Recent evidence has shown that insecticides are the first line of defence against malaria, responsible for nearly 80 per cent of malaria cases averted since 2000. We are working with our industry partners to bring to market as soon as possible novel insecticides that are in the pipeline,” said Nick Hamon, CEO of IVCC. “This project with UNITAID will help maintain the effectiveness of vector control in the short term and encourage competition as prices decrease and demand grows.”

Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the World Health Organization’s Global Malaria Programme said, “Effective vector control is a cornerstone of our global strategy for malaria. It is responsible for many of the gains seen over the last decade in malaria control and elimination. We welcome this joint initiative to accelerate the development and deployment of new insecticides and vector control tools.”

“The U.S. President's Malaria Initiative is pleased to partner with UNITAID and IVCC to boost malaria control by developing and bringing new and effective insecticides at lower prices to spray walls in homes and fight growing insecticide resistance," said Rear Admiral USN (ret) Tim Ziemer, the U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator. "PMI will continue to support the research and development of insecticides for malaria control and work with partners to bring to market new vector control tools to accelerate progress in malaria control and elimination.”

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Miki Orlovic
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