Funded by a Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award we have initiated a trans-disciplinary study on ‘Malaria in Insecticide Resistant Africa (MiRA). The overall aim of this project is to understand why malaria is persisting in some high burden countries, despite widespread coverage of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and adoption of WHO guidelines on detection and treatment of the disease.
Our primary hypothesis is that the exceptionally high levels of pyrethroid resistance in the mosquito vectors is reducing both the personal and community protection usually provided by ITNs but there are many other potential explanatory factors. The project will measure malaria risk factors, quantify the host seeking and resting behaviour of malaria vectors and the level of insecticide resistance (and the impact of this on insecticide behaviour) and record actual net usage and treatment and prevention seeking behaviours in the local population. Data will be used to update transmission models of malaria enabling us to estimate the impact of ITNs in settings that now typify much of the high malaria burden regions of Africa. The model will also aid in the selection of affordable alternative interventions that would be expected to be most effective in complementing existing tools to reduce malaria transmission in such settings.
The project will be conducted in the Banfora and Mangodara districts in southwest Burkina Faso with the major field activities being initiated in 2017.