Indoor residual spraying
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (August 2012)|
Indoor residual spraying or IRS is the process of spraying the inside of dwellings with an insecticide to kill mosquitoes that spread malaria. A dilute solution of insecticide is sprayed on the inside walls of certain types of dwellings—those with walls made from porous materials such as mud or wood but not plaster as in city dwellings. Mosquitoes are killed or repelled by the spray, preventing the transmission of the disease. In 2008, 44 countries employed IRS as a malaria control strategy.1 Several pesticides have historically been used for IRS, the first and most well-known being DDT.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends IRS as one of three primary means of malaria control, the others being use of insecticide treated bednets (ITNs) and prompt treatment of confirmed cases with artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs).2 While previously the WHO had recommended IRS only in areas of sporadic malaria transmission, in 2006 it began recommending IRS in areas of endemic, stable transmission as well.3
According to the WHO:4
|“||[N]ational governments should:
Furthermore, for IRS to be effective:4
- There must be a high percentage of sprayable surfaces within each dwelling.
- The vector (mosquitos) must feed or rest indoors.
- The targeted vectors must be susceptible (i.e. not resistant) to the insecticide being sprayed.
The WHO further states that "insecticide susceptibility and vector behaviour; safety for humans and the environment; and efficacy and cost-effectiveness" are factors that must be considered when selecting an insecticide for IRS.4
Currently, the WHO has approved twelve different insecticides for IRS.
|Insecticide||Class||Recommended dosage of active ingredient (g/m2)5||Duration of effective action (months)||Estimated cost per house per 6 months (US$)6||WHO toxicity rating7|
According to 2010 Cochrane review, IRS is an effective strategy for reducing malaria incidence. It is about as effective as using insecticide treated nets (ITN)s, though ITNs may be a more effective at reducing morbidity in some situations.8
Few studies have directly compared the cost effectiveness of IRS directly with other methods of malaria control. A study from 2008 assessed the cost effectiveness of seven African anti-malaria campaigns: two IRS campaigns and five insecticide treated bednet (ITN) distribution campaigns. The authors found that on a cost-per-child-death-averted basis, all were about the same, but the ITN campaigns were slightly more cost effective.9
With regard to the cost effectiveness of various pesticides vis-a-vis each other for IRS, historically DDT has been considered the most cost effective, mainly because it lasts longer than alternatives and therefore dwellings can be sprayed less frequently. But actual studies on cost effectiveness are lacking, and none have taken into account the adverse health and environmental effects of DDT or its alternatives. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) concluded in 2008 that "IRS with DDT remains affordable and effective in many situations but, with regard to the direct costs, the relative advantage of DDT vis-à-vis alternative insecticides seems to be diminishing. The contextual evidence base on cost-effectiveness needs strengthening, and the external costs of DDT use vis-à-vis alternative insecticides require a careful assessment."3
For IRS to be effective, at least 80% of homes and barns in an area must be sprayed,4 and if enough residents refuse spraying, the effectiveness of the whole program can be jeopardized. Many residents resist spraying of DDT in particular. This is due to a variety of factors, including its smell10 and the stains it leaves on the walls.10111213 While that stain makes it easier to check whether the room has been sprayed, it causes some villagers to resist the spraying of their homes131415 or to resurface the wall, which eliminates the residual insecticidal effect.1215 Pyrethroid insecticides are reportedly more acceptable since they do not leave visible residues on the walls.13
In addition, DDT is not suitable for this type of spraying in Western-style plastered or painted walls, only traditional dwellings with unpainted walls made of mud, sticks, dung, thatch, clay, or cement.101516 As rural areas of South Africa become more prosperous, there is a shift towards Western style housing, leaving fewer homes suitable for DDT spraying, and necessitating the use of alternative insecticides.15
Other villagers object to DDT spraying because it does not kill cockroaches13 or bedbugs;12 rather, it excites such pests making them more active,10111415 so that often the use of another insecticide is additionally required.15 Pyrethroids such as deltamethrin and lambdacyhalothrin, on the other hand, are more acceptable to residents because they kill these nuisance insects as well as mosquitoes.13 DDT has also been known to kill beneficial insects, such as wasps that kill caterpillars that, unchecked, destroy thatched roofs.14
As a result, Mozambique's chief of infectious disease control, Avertino Barreto, says that resistance to DDT spraying is "homegrown", not due to "pressure from environmentalists". "They only want us to use DDT on poor, rural black people," he says. "So whoever suggests DDT use, I say, 'Fine, I'll start spraying in your house first.'"10
As discussed above, DDT is one 12 insecticides currently approved by the WHO for use in malaria control. The following table shows recent per country use of DDT for IRS. Unless otherwise noted, data for 2003–07 is from the 2008 Stockholm Convention/UNEP monograph on the current status of DDT,3 2008 data is from the WHO's World Malaria Report 2009,1 and 2009 data is from the 2010 report of the Stockholm Convention's DDT expert group.17 The World Malaria Report 2009 does not report the amount of DDT used in each country, only whether it is used or not. Accordingly, countries are listed as using 0 or "some" DDT.
|Country||2003 use (tonnes)||2005 use (tonnes)||2007 use (tonnes)||2008 use||2009 use (tonnes)||Notes|
|Botswana||0||0||0||0||Use suspended in 1997, plans to introduce in 2009 1819|
|Cameroon||0||0||0||0||plan to introduce in 2009|
|China||0||0||n.a.||0||0||discontinued use in 2003|
|DR Congo||0||0||0||some||plan to reintroduce|
|Ethiopia||272||398||371||some||1350||Spraying stopped in 2010 because of resistance1720|
|Gambia||0||0||0||0||some||plan to introduce in 2008|
|Guyana||n.a.||n.a.||n.a.||some||listed in World Malaria Report 2008 as using DDT for IRS21|
|India||4444||4253||3188||some||3415||includes use for both malaria and leishmaniasis|
|Madagascar||45||0||0||0||0||plan to reintroduce in 2009|
|Malawi||0||0||0||0||plan to introduce in 2009|
|Mozambique||0||308||n.a.||some||reintroduced in 2005|
|North Korea||n.a.||n.a.||5||some||some||(an additional 155 tonnes is used in agriculture)|
|Papua New Guinea||n.a.||n.a.||n.a.||some||unknown amounts used|
|South Africa||54||62||66||some||reintroduced in 2000|
|Uganda||0||0||0||some22||IRS with DDT was briefly implemented in 200822|
|Zambia||7||26||22||some||some||reintroduced in 2000|
|Zimbabwe||0||108||12||some||reintroduced in 2004|
|Global Total||4953||5219||3725||4783||2009 use includes only India, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Mauritius|
- MALARIA VECTOR CONTROL AND PERSONAL PROTECTION, WHO Technical Report Series No. 936. 2006.
- World Health Organization, World Malaria Report 2009, 2009.
- World Health Organization. "WHO – Malaria". Retrieved 2008-11-22.
- van den Berg, Henk; Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention (October 23, 2008). "Global status of DDT and its alternatives for use in vector control to prevent disease". Stockholm Convention/United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
- Indoor Residual Spraying: Use of Indoor Residual Spraying for Scaling Up Global Malaria Control and Elimination. World Health Organization, 2006.
- Sadasivaiah, Shobha; Tozan, Yesim; Breman, Joel G. (2007). "Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) for Indoor Residual Spraying in Africa: How Can It Be Used for Malaria Control?". Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 77 (Suppl 6): 249–263.
- "Excluding operational costs and freight and other external costs"
- Ia = Extremely Hazardous; Ib = Highly Hazardous; II = Moderately Hazardous; III = Slightly Hazardous; U = Unlikely To Be Hazardous. Source: World Health Organization, The WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard, 2005.
- Pluess B, Tanser FC, Lengeler C, Sharp BL (2010). "Indoor residual spraying for preventing malaria". In Lengeler, Christian. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 4 (4): CD006657. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006657.pub2. PMID 20393950.
- Yukich, Joshua O; et al. (17 December 2008). "Costs and consequences of large-scale vector control for malaria". Malaria Journal 7 (258): epublished ahead of print. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-7-258. PMC 2625363. PMID 19091114.
- In Malaria War, South Africa Turns To Pesticide Long Banned in the West, Roger Thurow, Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2001
- DDT and Africa's war on malaria, BBC
- Mabaso ML, Sharp B, Lengeler C (2004). "Historical review of malarial control in southern African with emphasis on the use of indoor residual house-spraying". Trop. Med. Int. Health 9 (8): 846–56. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2004.01263.x. PMID 15303988.
- Control of Malaria Vectors in Africa and Asia C.F.Curtis
- Gladwell, Malcolm (July 2, 2001). "The Mosquito Killer". The New Yorker..
- South Africa’s War against Malaria Lessons for the Developing World, Richard Tren and Roger Bate, Cato Institute
- Hargreaves K, Hunt RH, Brooke BD, et al. (2003). "Anopheles arabiensis and An. quadriannulatus resistance to DDT in South Africa". Med. Vet. Entomol. 17 (4): 417–22. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2915.2003.00460.x. PMID 14651656.
- DDT Expert Group of the Stockholm Convention (15 Dec 2010). "UNEP/POPS/COP.5/5. Report of the expert group on the assessment of the production and use of DDT and its alternatives for disease vector control.". United Nation Environment Programme. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- Letsididi, Bashi (July 7, 2009). "Gov’t reintroduces DDT chemical". Sunday Standard. Retrieved 2009-07-08.dead link
- NGWANAAMOTHO, MARANYANE (November 24, 2009). "DDT benefits outweigh risks - Ntebela". Mmegi Mobile. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- ZENEBE, WUDINEH (March 14, 2010). "DDT Ban Forces Pesticide Co to Export Stockpile". Addis Fortune. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- 2005 WHO World Malaria Report 2008, World Health Organization, 2008, ISBN 978-92-4-156369-7
- Das, Devapriyo (1 October 2008). "Health - DDT Experiment Fails Its First Test". The Observer. Retrieved 15 January 2010.