Awareness of the importance of insecticide resistance is crucial in the context of vector control. Insecticide resistance has been described as the greatest threat to the ongoing progress in the fight against malaria.
Insecticide resistance to at least one insecticide currently used for malaria control has been discovered in at least 49 malaria-endemic countries around the world. According to Pedro Alonso, Head of WHO Global Malaria Program, “Insecticide resistance is the greatest current threat to the future of malaria control and to the sustainability of the achievements of recent years (Geneva, January 2015).”
However, insecticide resistance is not just a problem within malaria vectors. There is also documented pyrethroid resistance in dengue vectors in South America and Southeast Asia and vectors of leishmaniasis in the rest of Asia.
The effective management of insecticide resistance is a shared responsibility; one that needs to be assumed by all concerned stakeholders. The WHO Global Malaria Program published their Global Plan for Insecticide Resistance Management in Malaria Vectors (GPIRM) in 2012 which highlights the various roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder group. For manufacturers of vector control products there is a clear role for driving research and development towards new solutions; toward mobilizing resources around effective insecticide resistance management and through advocacy.
Bayer has taken the issue of insecticide resistance management (IRM) very seriously for a number of years, hosting International IRM Workshops in Durban in 2004, Delhi in 2006 and Dubai in 2015. We also launched an advocacy campaign called Resistance Matters at the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Conference in Nairobi in 2009.
The messages of these workshops and campaigns were reinforced in IRS and product trainings carried out in Mozambique in 2006, 2007 and 2008; in Kenya in 2007; Malawi in 2008; Nigeria in 2008 and 2009; Zambia in 2009; Namibia in 2009 and 2010; Uganda in 2010; Ethiopia in 2011 and Sao Tome in 2013. Similar trainings have been carried out in Turkey and France in 2011, 2012 and 2014 for delegates from the Iraqi Ministry of Health.