Dr. Ken Staley's Quarterly Message

Aug 19, 2019 | PMI

August 20th is World Mosquito Day, which marks the discovery by Sir Ronald Ross in 1897 that the female mosquito transmits malaria. Since Ross’ time, we’ve learned a great deal about how to combat mosquitoes. Among the key weapons in our arsenal are insecticides, with widespread use and distribution of pyrethroid-treated bed nets and targeted indoor residual spraying with several classes of insecticides having contributed to significant reductions in malaria cases and deaths. 

However, mosquitoes have evolved to protect themselves against these insecticides, and resistance is increasing across Africa. Left unchecked insecticide resistance will continue to threaten the hard-fought progress the global community has made toward our shared vision of malaria eradication. 

But just as mosquitoes have evolved, I’m pleased to say PMI’s strategies are evolving as well. Together with partner countries and partner organizations, we’re actively developing and implementing plans to mitigate the impact of resistance that has already been detected, and to prevent further development of resistance.

For example, PMI is supporting countries’ efforts to introduce new insecticides and to rotate different classes of insecticides used in indoor spray campaigns. Working with the Global Fund and other donors, we’re rolling out bed nets treated with new insecticide combinations, and evaluating their public health impact in countries hardest hit by malaria. We are also following the development of novel anti-mosquito products such as targeted sugar baits and larval source management, as well as advances in research on genetic modification of mosquitoes to prevent the spread of malaria. 

Bigger picture, I’m optimistic about the potential of these new strategies and tools to help us stay ahead of insecticide resistance and beat malaria once and for all. But the global community must remain vigilant, continue to call attention to the resistance issue, and help us ensure addressing it remains a priority.

Thank you, and I look forward to our continued work together.


Ken Staley, MD
U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator


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