12.4  Prevention of epidemics

Epidemic prevention depends on close monitoring of the epidemic-triggering factors described in Section 12.2. If you suspect that there is a favourable condition for malaria epidemics to occur, you must implement the following prevention activities immediately.

Indoor residual insecticide spraying (IRS)

In some villages IRS is undertaken every year in anticipation of epidemics following the rainy season. In other areas IRS is done when there is a change in one or more epidemic-triggering factors and the risk of an epidemic seems high. It is essential to apply IRS before the malaria transmission season or the anticipated epidemic. In this way it can have a significant effect on the incidence of transmission and reduce the likelihood of an epidemic.

Larval control

This is another important measure to prevent epidemics. As you learned in Study Session 9, anti-larval measures can easily be organised by mobilising the community. They are also cheap to implement. Larval control measures can only be implemented very close to or during the transmission season.

Insecticide treated nets (ITNs)

Providing ITNs to 100% of households in malaria-risk villages aims to reduce the risk of malaria epidemics.

12.3  Preparedness for malaria epidemics

12.5  Detection of malaria epidemics