Malaria is one of the deadliest tropical and sub-tropical diseases. It is most prevalent among people living in vulnerable areas. Mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of malaria, but the actual cause of the disease is the parasite that uses the mosquito as its host. There are several methods of treating malaria, with much research currently going on into anti-malarial drugs. However, the best treatment is and will remain prevention. The focus in the treatment of malaria today is on avoiding malarial infection. There are various methods of preventing malaria. The most common methods include the use of nets, mosquito repellent, insecticide spray, and biological prevention measures such as the use of fish to feed on mosquito larvae.
The use of nets is the most widely applied malaria prevention measure. It is considered the most vital method in preventing malaria. Mosquitoes bite people mostly at night when the victims are asleep. Sleeping under mosquito nets prevents these mosquito bites and hence prevents malaria. Governments in malaria-prone countries try to prevent malaria by providing free mosquito nets for the public. These nets are sometimes sprayed with insecticide to kill any mosquitoes making contact with the nets.
The use of repellent is also common. This is applied in areas where bites are more prevalent. Repellents are more appropriate in waterlogged areas where the population of mosquitoes is denser. Repellents are not only effective in reducing malaria by killing mosquitoes, but also help in reducing the inconvenience caused by mosquito bites.
Another effective method of controlling malaria is the use of Gambusia fish. These fish are known to prey exclusively on the larvae of insects. The fish are small in size and can comfortably live in small pools of water where these insects also breed. They are therefore effective in eradicating mosquitoes before they grow up and reach maturity.