Background & objectives: Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is a proven tool to reduce visceral leishmaniasis vectors in endemic villages. In India IRS is being done with stirrup pumps, whereas Nepal, Bangladesh, and other countries use compression pumps. The present study was conducted with the objectives to compare the efficiency, cost and user friendliness of stirrup and compression pumps.
Methods: The study was carried out in Gorigawan village of the Vaishali district in north Bihar and included a total population of 3259 inhabitants in 605 households. Spraying with 50 per cent DDT was done by two teams with 6 persons per team under the supervision of investigators over 5 days with each type of pump (10 days in total using 2 stirrup pumps and 3 compression pumps) by the same sprayers in an alternate way. The spraying technique was observed using an observation check list, the number of houses and room surfaces sprayed was recorded and an interview with sprayers on their satisfaction with the two types of pumps was conducted.
Results: On average, 65 houses were covered per day with the compression pump and 56 houses were covered with the stirrup pump. The surface area sprayed per squad per day was higher for the compression pump (4636 m²) than for the stirrup pump (4102 m²). Observation showed that it was easy to maintain the spray swath with the compression pump but very difficult with the stirrup pump. The wastage of insecticide suspension was negligible for the compression pump but high for the stirrup pump.
Interpretation & conclusions: The compression pump was found to be more user friendly due to its lower weight, easier to operate, lower operation cost, higher safety and better efficiency in terms of discharge rate and higher area coverage than the stirrup pump.