Use of insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) has been the backbone of malaria control in Malawi. The challenges facing ITNs/LNs use have well been documented and include among others coverage and proper net use. Since 2007, the Government of Malawi (GoM) with assistance from Global Fund (GF) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) initiated an indoor residual spray (IRS) programme initially in one district and currently expanded to 7 districts. M&E activities of the IRS programme show that An. funestus is the predominant malaria vector in all IRS districts except one where An. arabiensis occurs exclusively. The two species exhibit differential responses to pyrethroid use with An. arabiensis showing complete susceptibility.
I therefore propose to carry out vector bionomics studies of the two vector species with emphasis on adult behaviour and their importance in disease transmission. The study will be carried out in two districts in northern Malawi. One district has an exclusive population of An. funestus and the other is predominantly An. arabiensis.
This study will provide crucial data for a planned larger multidisciplinary study aimed at understanding host–vector interactions with the goal of developing an integrated vector control system that exploits vector and human behaviour to control malaria in Malawi