FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A new mosquito net made by German chemicals company BASF has been given an interim recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO), containing a new class of insecticide that the company hopes will aid the fight against malaria.
Death rates from malaria have dropped by 60 percent since 2000, according to the WHO, but attempts to end one of the world’s deadliest diseases - which kills around 430,000 people a year - are under threat as mosquitoes become increasingly resistant to measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets and anti-malarial drugs.
BASF’s new net is based on chlorfenapyr, which has been used in agriculture and urban pest control for over two decades, but BASF reworked it to make it effective on mosquito nets and meet targets for the public health market.
It said the net will provide protection for at least three years or 20 washes.
The new Interceptor G2 insecticide-treated net is expected to be available to health ministries and aid organizations from towards the end of this year, BASF said.
A WHO spokesman said the Geneva-based organization’s interim recommendation meant it still had to evaluate the net’s public health impact and it was requesting more data from the chemicals company.
BASF is also waiting for the WHO to evaluate another chlorfenapyr product, an indoor spray for walls and ceilings called Sylando 240SC.
“This development breakthrough strengthens my personal belief that we really can be the generation to end malaria for good,” Egon Weinmueller, head of BASF’s public health business, said.
Reporting by Patricia Weiss. Additional reporting by Tom Miles.; Writing by Victoria Bryan and Andreas Cremer.; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter