Malaria is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in people living in many parts of the world, especially Sub-Saharan Africa and particularly Nigeria. Nigeria has a vision to become malaria-free with a mission to liberate the populace from the scourge of malaria-driven morbidity, mortality and impoverishment through effective leadership, integrated health system strengthening and intersectoral coordination. Larval source management (LSM) refers to the targeted management of mosquito breeding sites, with the objective to reduce the number of mosquito larvae and pupae in the environment. However, very little or no attention has been given to this very important malaria vector control intervention especially in Nigeria. The WHO position statement stated that for effectiveness, larviciding must be specially adapted to each locality, and must be carried out thoroughly and selectively, and should be considered for malaria control with or without other interventions only in areas where the breeding sites are few, fixed and findable. The National Malaria Elimination Programme in collaboration with its implementing partners have carried out series of field efficacy trials of different strains of larvicides to ascertain the effectiveness of the intervention as well as its feasible capabilities to reduce the malaria vector population density and has given a node for the programmatic deployment of the intervention. In the early twentieth century larviciding and environmental management were the only tools available to contain malaria. Historical literature and more recent reviews of this approach show that anti-larval mosquito control measures were powerful tools against malaria. One of the key challenges for conventional and microbial larvicides used for malaria control in Africa is the short residual period of control. However, LSM is a well-established strategy, it is a tool ready for use without any further research required. If the current dream of malaria elimination is to be realized, LSM in combination with Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated BedNets (LLITNs) and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) remains the practicable fast train that will take us to our destination of becoming a malaria-free country.
Oluwasogo A Olalubi and Godson K Chinwe
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