“They’re thought to last four or five years but we’ve tested them and they’re lucky to last a year in some emergency settings,” Allan says. Allan realised that alternatives were worth investigating. Interior residual spraying (IRS) is a widespread and effective preventative measure. However, it needs to be applied twice a year.

Wall lining
Allan began looking into an alternative. The solution was a tough, woven wall lining which acts as wallpaper covering the surface with a new combination of insecticides that should be effective for many years.  Trials have started in Liberia and will continue to Tanzania by the end of the year.

“We have teams that go in and put the wall coverings up to make sure it’s done well,” he says. Allan expects that by around this time next year the first data from the projects will be available to reveal if this new tool has been successful.