New Prototype Screened Doors and Windows for Excluding Mosquitoes from Houses: A Pilot Study in Rural Gambia.
Despite compelling evidence that modern housing protects against malaria, houses in endemic areas are still commonly porous to mosquitoes. The protective efficacy of four prototype screened doors and two windows designs against mosquito house entry, their impact on indoor climate, as well as their use, durability and acceptability was assessed in a Gambian village. A baseline survey collected data on all the houses and discrete household units, each consisting of a front and back room, were selected and randomly allocated to the study arms. Each prototype self-closing screened door and window was installed in six and 12 units, respectively, with six unaltered units serving as controls. All prototype doors reduced the number of house-entering mosquitoes by 59-77% in comparison with the control houses. The indoor climate of houses with screened doors was similar to control houses. Seventy-nine percentage of door openings at night occurred from dusk to midnight, when malaria vectors begin entering houses. Ten weeks after installation the doors and windows were in good condition, although 38% of doors did not fully self-close and latch (snap shut). The new doors and windows were popular with residents. The prototype door with perforated concertinaed screening was the best performing door because it reduced mosquito entry, remained fully functional, and was preferred by the villagers. Screened doors and windows may be useful tools for reducing vector exposure and keeping areas malaria-free after elimination, when investment in routine vector control becomes difficult to maintain.