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, monitoring the landscape for arboviral threats and continuously looking for new and innovative ways to prevent vectors from transmitting diseases to humans.
The use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) remains one of the most effective methods of preventing malaria. We have implemented large-scale ITN campaigns in most contexts including among vulnerable communities in regions affected by internal conflict and other security challenges, supported development of approaches for continuous ITN distribution to maintain high coverage levels, and led work on operational evaluation of ITN programmes.
We have carried out entomological and epidemiological research to understand the impacts of interventions, the spread of insecticide resistance and resistance management, and effects of insecticide-based interventions on malaria transmission.
We also work to improve prevention of malaria transmission outside human dwellings by promoting methods to reduce contact with potential vectors. Our 'role model’ behaviour change projects in Asia encourage existing behaviours to prevent malaria and dengue found within communities to be more widely adopted.
Originally established in 2009, the Vector Control Working Group has been an active and productive platform to provide vector control capacity-building opportunities, in particular to the National Malaria Control Programmes (NMCPs) of member states. In our role as chair of the Vector Control Working Group, we provide continued technical leadership and programmatic coordination to help advance progress towards malaria elimination in the region.
Mobile and migrant populations contribute to sustained malaria transmission. Their high mobility and seasonal cross-border migration limit their access to community- or facility-based healthcare services.
In practice: In Cambodia, we train mobile malaria workers to conduct health promotion activities with mobile and migrant populations to raise community awareness of malaria transmission, effective personal protection, testing and treatment.
Essential vector control methods including the distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are among the most widespread and cost-effective prevention methods used to combat mosquito-borne diseases including malaria.
In practice: In Nigeria, we are undertaking a study on the epidemiological and entomological impacts and outcomes of LLIN campaigns and will use the findings to improve vector-control decisions based on a deeper understanding of the intervention’s cost-effectiveness.
Decision-makers can lead and manage malaria programmes more effectively by providing timely, useful health-related data through health surveillance and monitoring and evaluation systems. We work with national governments to improve the quality and accessibility of routine health information by using digital tools and approaches that strengthen the linkages between case-level data and national health information systems.
In practice: In Nigeria, we undertook malaria surveillance strengthening activities, organising quarterly data quality assurance activities for staff, and bi-monthly data-validation meetings to monitor and improve data reporting to help make informed decisions.
In Bangladesh and Nepal we are using innovative community engagement interventions such as the community dialogue approach and participatory video to improve understanding of AMR and improve the rational use of antimicrobials in both animals and humans.
In practice: In our Position Statement on AMR, we’ve outlined the negative impact of this on public health progress and urgent action needed to protect lives and economies.
Dengue is a tropical disease, transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is a growing epidemic, with a high proportion of cases found in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) of Asia.
In practice: Within the GMS, our Thailand office provides ongoing research support for dengue transmission reduction through vector control.