Traditional Methodologies: Pluses and Minuses

Traditional approaches to combating malaria have both values and limitations:

  • Insecticide sprays demonstrate effectiveness but carry environmental and toxicity concerns. Their effectiveness is compromised by the surprisingly robust resistance exhibited by biting insects and they require frequent “change-offs” to remain effective.
  • Malaria parasites have shown a persistent resistance to anti-malaria drugs, which tend to be expensive, exhibit undesirable side-effects and often cannot be tolerated by children even in reduced dosages.
  • Bednets are effective and inexpensive but can only protect children and adults when they are in bed under a properly installed net.
  • DEET-based topical insect-avoidants are effective but have a limited efficacy period and their potency is lost or diminished due to perspiration, bathing, exposure to rain, swimming and rub-off. They require tedious application and there are potential toxicity issues
  • involved in their use, especially with children