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What Can and Cannot Be Achieved with Conventional Anti-Malaria Measures

Arnoldo GabaldonLaboratorio para Estudios sobre Malaria, Instituto Nacional de Higiene y Dirección de Malariologia y Saneamiento Ambiental, Ministerio de Sanidad y Asistencia Social, Caracas, Venezuela

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Malaria eradication has been based on interception of the vectors through the spraying of houses with DDT. With proper strategy and adequate execution this goal should be achieved in the extensive areas where the vector is responsive to the insecticide, but in large regions where it is refractory other conventional measures against the vectors are more costly and cannot produce eradication. In such cases new ways should be sought to tackle the other primary epidemiological factors—the parasite and the susceptible human being. There is so far no drug which can eliminate the parasites from man with one or two doses and that has a long-lasting protective effect against new infections, the two conditions required for effectiveness in the field. The development of a vaccine to protect susceptible human beings is the other possibility being explored at the present time. Let us hope that such a vaccine may become available.