By Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, Health Education Officer –HED/MoHS
With support from the US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), The Ministry of Health and Sanitation through the National Malaria Control Programme will embark on an Indoor Residual Spraying as a preventive intervention for malaria in Bo and Bombali districts in May and June this year.
Sister Wan C. Lahai, Principal Public Health Sister who doubles as the Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Focal at the National Malaria Control Programme in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation said that Indoor Residual Spraying is one of those measures used to prevent malaria in households and communities, adding that they were going to pilot IRS in Bo and Bombali as the prevalence of malaria is higher in rural settings than in the urban.
Sister Wani reiterated that the inner walls of households in the target districts will be sprayed with a thin coat of insecticide to prevent mosquitos from the household thereby preventing malaria. “The insecticide kills mosquitoes when they sit on the wall”. She added.
Dilating on the role of communities, she stated that IRS will be done with the cooperation of families and household members as community engagement will also be done for community participation, ownership and sustainability of the IRS. She added that Indoor residual spraying and entomological monitoring are also key vector control interventions in the National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan 2021-2025.
The US Ambassador to Sierra Leone David Reimer stated at the launch of the World Malaria Day Commemoration in Freetown last Week Friday that they were going to partner with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to embark on an Indoor Residual Spraying in Bo and Bombali reaching over 1 million households in May and June through the US President’s Malaria Initiative.
The Us Ambassador urged that families should continue to use bed nets, which are the first line of prevention for Sierra Leoneans even after the Indoor Residual Spraying. This intervention will protect all households’ members from malaria mosquitoes inside the house.
ISR will prevent many thousands of malaria infection and deaths this year, especially in children under-fives and pregnant women.
The Indoor Residual Spraying Malarai Preventive Intervention was launched on Saturday 24th April at the Bo Coronation Field in Bo City, An event that was done on the eve of World Malaria Day Commemoration on 25th April, 2021. This day is globally commemorated to raise awareness on malaria.