Evaluation of the impact of ZeroFly®, an insecticide incorporated plastic sheeting on malaria incidence in two temporary labour shelters in India

& objectives: Prevention of malaria is a major technical and operational problem in displaced and mobile populations such as refugee camps and temporary labour settlements. Insecticide incorporated plastic sheeting is a new technology to control mosquitoes in emergency shelters and also temporary habitations at different locations. In view of this, efficacy of ZeroFly®, an insecticide incorporated plastic sheeting (factory treated with deltamethrin 2.0 g/kg or 265 mg/m2) was evaluated for its efficacy against malaria vectors and its impact on malaria incidence in temporary labour settlements in two urban areas in India. Methods: This trial was conducted in two labour settlements in two urban areas, Delhi and Noida (U.P.), India with ~ 250 populations. In an area, two localities were selected for intervention with ZeroFly and untreated plastic sheets (control). Entomological and epidemiological data were collected using standard methods for one year. Results: Baseline studies on the susceptibility of mosquitoes in Delhi and Noida areas revealed 100% susceptibility of the malaria vector species Anopheles culicifacies and An. stephensi to deltamethrin. Cone bioassay tests performed against An. culicifacies and An. stephensi to determine the efficacy of ZeroFly sheets showed 100% mortality against An. culicifacies and An. stephensi with 3 min exposure and after 24 h recovery period. Against Culex quinquefasciatus and housefly 100% mortality was obtained after 30 min of exposure period. Intervention with the ZeroFly plastic sheets resulted in almost complete reduction in the resting density of An. culicifacies and An. stephensi, the two major malaria vectors and also in the reduction of malaria cases in ZeroFly camps as compared to control camps. The ZeroFly plastic sheeting was found to be safe for human. Barring some complaints of skin irritation and itching, which were temporary in nature, no adverse health effects were reported by the users. The community acceptance was high. Conclusion: Results of the present study revealed that ZeroFly® plastic sheeting is highly effective in reducing the indoor resting density of mosquitoes, man-vector contact and malaria incidences in labour populations living in temporary shelters. Key words Anopheles culicifacies, feeding success; malaria; parity rate; resting density; ZeroFly® plastic sheeting.

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