Controlling, and ultimately eliminating, mosquito-borne diseases including malaria would bring tremendous health, social, and economic benefits to people in sub-Saharan Africa and around the globe. Such was a key message during the recent GBCHealth and CAMA webinar on Emerging Issues and New Tools to Fight Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Africa on August 20th.
Held in observance of World Mosquito Day, this virtual event was an opportunity to provide an update on the state of mosquito-borne diseases in Africa, challenges and strategies for elimination, along with new innovations such as vector control tools to prevent and mitigate health risks associated with mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, West Nile virus and other diseases.
Expert speakers included:
Other key themes that emerged from the discussion included:
- Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, lymphatic filariasis, chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, Zika, and West Nile virus contribute significantly to the high burden of communicable diseases in Africa
- Despite all the recent successes in controlling mosquito-borne diseases, we still face a number of challenges including insecticide resistance (IR), residual malaria transmission, invasion of exotic species in the African region, sustainability of interventions, entomological surveillance & monitoring, environmental risk factors including climate change, lack of quality data, and tailoring of vector control interventions to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens prior gains
- Mosquito elimination requires a multi-sector and multifaceted approach, focused on diagnosis, treatment, supportive care, prevention and more
- The comprehensive package of malaria control interventions needs to be sustained and scaled up, including indoor residual spraying (IRS), bed nets, larva source management, larvicide, and more
- Scaling up and implementing initiatives / products correctly are as important as developing and identifying the right interventions
- IR is a huge obstacle to the control of mosquito-borne diseases and new products, tools and innovative partnerships are key to addressing it
- Community ownership and input into interventions is key for long-term success, and advocacy is an important part of any malaria control intervention
- Designing and scaling up full-spectrum interventions for malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases requires multi-sector partnerships
A recording of that webinar is available here, and the recap and key takeaways can be found here. The online recap includes responses from the expert speakers to questions posed during the webinar that were not addressed during the Q&A portion of the webinar due to time constraints. The panelists provided answers to questions about pyrethroid resistance, funding sources for indoor residual spraying (IRS), new insecticides, bed nets and other tools, and more.
A little-known fact; World Mosquito Day was first established in 1897, when the link between mosquitoes and malaria transmission was discovered by British doctor Sir Ronald Ross. Its aim is to raise awareness about the cause and prevention of mosquito transmission of malaria and other vector-borne diseases so that more people will be safe and are protected.
The webinar brought together over 140 representatives from the private sector, international NGOs, academia, government organizations, and communities affected by malaria. GBCHealth and CAMA partners Aliko Dangote Foundation, Chevron, The Global Fund, Mylan, the NMEP, the Nigeria CDC, Sanofi, Sumitomo Chemical, and Vestergaard, among others joined the conversation.
Dr. Manuel F. Lluberas, who delivered the closing remarks of the webinar, shared his perspective with GBCHealth on the state of vector control and what should be prioritized in vector control moving forward. That article can be found here.
CAMA’s previous malaria-focused webinar, Sustaining Malaria Intervention Amid COVID-19, focused on the importance of maintaining malaria interventions in the face of COVID-19. Panelists shared insights on the fight against malaria and COVID-19 in Nigeria, and how various sectors can cooperate to mobilize resources and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fight against malaria. You can watch the full webinar at this link and find a detailed recap here.
CAMA is a GBCHealth-led initiative to drive partnerships for malaria control and elimination. The Alliance is a unique coalition of companies from various industries, all with business interests in Africa. CAMA channels the collective force and voice of the private sector to drive impact on malaria in Africa from workplaces to region-wide initiatives. For more information, contact Ochuko Keyamo-Onyige.