Vectron T500: Innovation to support Ghana’s malaria resistance management deployed

A new Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) product for malaria control has been deployed in Ghana to support the country’s malaria elimination efforts.

The innovation is a non-repellent, odourless and stainless formulation with low toxicity to mammals, and has a different mode of action from existing vector control products.

The product, which has been prequalified by the World Health Organisation, and approved by Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency the Food and Drugs Authority is expected to support the rotation of insecticides for indoor residual spraying in line with best practice insecticide resistance management.

At a ceremony to mark the official rollout of the innovation in Accra on Tuesday, the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) welcomed the product and expressed confidence that an effective rollout of the innovation would help Ghana build long-term resistance against malaria vectors.

Ghana has managed to reduce the rates of malaria parasite prevalence in children younger than five, from 20.6 per cent in 2016, to 8.6 per cent by 2023, according to the Ghana Demographic Health Survey.

Coordinated measures deployed by the country contributed to a reduction of in-patient audited malaria deaths, from 428 in 2018, to 155 in 2022.

Dr Keziah Malm, Programme Manager, NMEP, said in spite of the progress made, malaria remained the number one cause of out-patient attendance in Ghana.

She said the cost and availability of insecticides for indoor residual spraying was a major problem and expressed delight about the introduction of Vectron T500 to boost malaria eradication methods, especially in high-risk areas.

“There are times that we want to rotate, change the insecticides but we do not have new insecticides,” Dr Malm said.
According to the WHO, the African region continues to shoulder the highest burden of malaria globally, accounting for 94 per cent of all malaria cases (233 million) and 95 per cent of all malaria deaths (580, 000) in 2022.

Mr Ono Hajime, the Senior Executive Officer, and Division Head of Life Solutions Division of Mitsui Chemicals, said the institution was confident that the product would help protect the Ghanaian populace from malaria.

“We are committed to the malaria elimination agenda in Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa…We are working diligently to develop next-generation tools that can contribute to malaria elimination,” he said.

Mr Justin McBeath, Chief Executive Officer of Innovative Vector Control Consortium, said the new product would help to reduce the transmission of malaria in communities.

“Without such innovations, insecticide resistance will continue to spread and remain one of the biggest threats to achieving the goal of malaria elimination across Ghana and other malaria-endemic countries,” he said.

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