NIMR moves to check threat of Zika virus.
During the third Annual Scientific Conference organized by the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA), with the theme: “Control of Mosquito Vectors: Opportunities and Challenges in the 21st Century,” the Coordinator of Malaria Research Programme at NIMR, Dr Samuel Awolola,
who stressed that Zika was not in Nigeria presently but was not new, and that NIMR had already begun mapping of possible areas the virus can be found in the country., stating that Zika was first diagnosed in Nigeria in 1978, but urged Nigerians not to panic as the country is prepared to tackle it if it surfaces, and “It is not that we don’t know what the virus is or the vector that transmits it, but we have not been able to link it up with what we are seeing in Brazil and South America.”
He also said the conference was organised to look at the challenges facing vector control in the region adding that although, elimination of mosquitoes may not be 100 percent but there is need to bring it down to a level that can no longer be of a public health importance.
Speaking also, the Director-General, NIMR, Professor Babatunde Salako, who observed the dearth of entomologists in the country said it was a major challenge facing mosquito control in Nigeria. Salako who explained that entomologists are vector control managers and researchers who work together and share information on mosquito control emphasised the need to ensure mosquitoes are properly controlled. “The common resistance to vector control is the use of insecticides, which we still need to carry out different studies on
Corroborating his views, the Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, NMEP, Dr. Audu Bala, affirmed that the major threat to effective vector control for malaria elimination globally remains the growing evidence of vector resistance to the main insecticides that are deployed programmatically