Vector control – limiting the ability of mosquitoes or other insects to spread disease is one of the core strategies to controlling and eliminating malaria and other vector-borne diseases such as dengue and lymphatic filariasis in endemic areas. We take on a range of vector control activities and continuously look for new and innovative ways to prevent vectors from transmitting diseases to humans.
Providing long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to populations who need them, as well as encouraging their use, is one of the most effective methods of preventing malaria. We work throughout Africa and Asia to ensure that coverage of LLINs is high, through both public and private channels, and that there is sufficient demand for nets. Furthermore, our public health communications activities seek to educate and inform people on how to use and care for LLINs properly.
We also work to improve prevention of malaria transmission outside human dwellings (outdoor transmission) by promoting methods to reduce contact with potential vectors. For example, our ‘positive deviance’ projects in Asia encourage existing behaviours to prevent malaria and dengue found within communities to be more widely adopted. We also explore alternative methods to reduce outdoor transmission, such as the use of insecticide treated clothing for those who work at night.
Indoor residual spraying (IRS), which we support through research, is another key malaria prevention method for disrupting the malaria lifecycle by targeting mosquitoes that rest indoors after feeding. We also have significant experience conducting entomological research – an example being our Beyond Garki project studies, which explore the effects of insecticides on different vector species, allowing for better targeting of effective interventions.