Malaria is a leading cause of death, especially in developing countries. It is an infection that is caused by a blood protozoan, the Plasmodium parasite. It is transmitted by the Female anopheles mosquito, with about 4 species of the mosquitoes – falciparum, vivax, ovale, malariae.
One of the key components of the Roll Back Malaria Programme, is the use of Long lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LITN). On the official website of the programme, it states that Malaria causes approximately 584,000 deaths globally, about 90% of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, with about 78%of these deaths occur in among children under 5 years of age.
However what is striking is that these figures can be reduced if some interventions are implemented. Up in the list of these intervention is the judicious use of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets.
However, the knowledge, practice and use of these treated nets is abysmally poor. Most individuals, and even families, still do not use insecticide treated nets, despite the fact that it is readily available as provided by the government.
My clinical experience shows that of all the reasons patients give as an excuse for not using insecticide treated nets, the reason of ‘Insecticide Treated Nets is Very uncomfortable as it causes heat’, is untenable’. Other patients say that ITNs itches them, while others say the nets mechanically stops the free flow of breeze to its user.
This was my plight, today, in the clinic. I was saddled with the responsibility of proving beyond all doubt, that the benefits attached to the use of Insecticide Treated Nets, is much more than the burden of malaria on an individual or a family.
I concluded that the notion, contrary to wide spread local belief, is a fallacy. That the use of Long lasting Insecticide Treated Nets would cause heat or irritating symptoms, is no justification for not using it to prevent Malaria and its attendant complications.
Would you rather allow a 2 year old suffer from cerebral malaria, than allow him cry of a little discomfort that these nets supposedly cause? A fallacy indeed!!!… As all fallacy, it appears to be logical, but it must be purged out of our system.
Malaria Kills… Kill Malaria.