Swiss humanitarian aid company Vestergaard Frandsen has partnered with the ESRI Eastern Africa and the Kenya Medical Research Institute to launch the system called IR Mapper (www.irmapper.com).
IR Mapper as a website is planned to help identify locations in malaria-endemic countries where mosquitoes have developed resistance to the insecticides used in bed nets and indoor residual sprays.
According to a statement by the organisations involved with the project, the IR Mapper is planned to help direct as to which control tools should be deployed in areas of high resistance.
Resistance among the type of malaria carrying mosquitos referred to as ‘Anopheles’, in particular, has been reported in 64 countries, with parts of sub-Saharan Africa and India of greatest concern, a statement from the organisations reads.
IR Mapper then works by consolidating published data on insecticide susceptibility and resistance mechanisms from 1959 to 2012, which includes reports from the President’s Malaria Initiative, National Malaria Control Programmes and other reputable institutes.
Tessa Knox, technical specialist at Vestergaard Frandsen SA, has told ITWeb Africa that the tool is the first of its kind for such data as it allows users to tailor maps catered to their informational needs.
“We had very positive feedback on the beta version from global malaria stakeholders and malaria control programme personnel and researchers from throughout Africa. This version integrates further significant improvements based on user feedback,” she said.
“A key use will be to support the development of Insecticide Resistance Management Plans for malarious regions, in line with recommendations by the World Health Organization,” Tessa Knox explained.
Knox adds that, “The anticipated end users are decision-makers for malaria vector control, research entomologists and industry involved in vector control product development.”
She explained that the tool was developed as a freely-accessible contribution to advance evidence-based decision making for malaria control.
Credit: ITWeb Africa