11 Apr 2011

Malaria scientists encourage use of treated mosquito nets

7:29 pm on 11 April 2011

Malaria scientists in Papua New Guinea say the number of mosquito bites and malaria cases can be reduced even further if more people use treated mosquito nets.

The PNG Institute of Medical Research says surveys carried out across the country since 2008 have found that by using long lasting insecticide treated nets, the number of recorded mosquito bites and the associated cases of malaria have fallen dramatically.

An epidemiologist at the institute, Dr Manuel Hetzel says up to 70 percent of people across the country own the treated mosquito nets, though many still don't use them.

"We found in one of our studies that only about 40 percent of the people actually sleep under mosquito nets. And obviously this percentage needs to be increased if we want to maximise the effect of the nets."

Dr Manuel Hetzel says he is also hoping for an introduction of more effective medication to treat malaria cases immediately.