Where is the risk of malaria most acute and what should be done?
There is no malaria in the Maldives and along the coastline of Southern Thailand; malaria in South India is limited to urban areas; thus the main risk areas are Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Indonesia. In Sri Lanka, risks will increase when brackish water is washed out by monsoon rains and the floods recede: An. culicifacies will start breeding in the remaining pools. In Myanmar and in northern Sumatra the evolution of malaria risks in relation to floods and flood recession is less clear.
Important measures include:
- Personal protection, using insecticide treated mosquito nets, and impregnation with insecticides of all material for temporary shelter (such as tents); spraying with residual insecticides will only be feasible where housing structures are still intact.
- Making available mosquito repellents to affected populations to re-inforce personal protection using nets or other impregnated materials
- Access to anti-malaria drugs linked to effective monitoring of the start of outbreaks.