Vector control and insecticide resistance

A child sleeping under a long-lasting insecticidal net in northern Kenya.
Sarah Hoibak/UNHCR

Vector control is an essential component of malaria prevention. Such control has been proven to successfully reduce or interrupt malaria transmission when coverage is sufficiently high. The two core, broadly applicable measures for malaria vector control are long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS). In specific settings and under special circumstances, these core vector control interventions can be supplemented by other methods.

This section discusses the core and supplementary methods for vector control. It also outlines the key biological threats to the effectiveness of vector-control interventions and the actions required to address these challenges.

Core vector control methods

Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) are the two most important vector control measures that protect humans from the bite of mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasite.

Supplementary vector control methods

In specific settings and circumstances, the core vector-control interventions can be supplemented by other methods, such as larval source management and the scale-up of personal protection measures.

Entomological surveillance, and intervention monitoring and evaluation

Up-to-date local information is required to inform vector control and identify challenges to its effectiveness, such as insecticide resistance and residual parasite transmission.

Insecticide resistance

Malaria-endemic countries are urged to draw up and implement comprehensive insecticide-resistance management strategies, and to ensure timely resistance monitoring.

WHO-recommended products for vector control

The WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) coordinates the testing and evaluation of pesticides for public health, and makes recommendations on vector-control tools such as LLINs, insecticides for IRS, and other vector-control interventions as appropriate.

Policy setting for vector control

The WHO Vector Control Advisory Group (VCAG) on new tools and the Technical Expert Group on Malaria Vector Control (VCTEG) are the two main advisory bodies addressing policy topics related to malaria vector control.

Key documents

World Malaria Report 2014

This report summarizes information received from 97 malaria-endemic countries and other sources.

Contact us

Global Malaria Programme
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27
Tel: +41 22 791 2533
Fax: +41 22 791 4824