AIRS hosts panel at the ASTMH conference

AIRS staff led a symposium to explore innovative approaches to gathering epidemiological and entomological data to shape countries’ vector control programs and improve the effectiveness of IRS against malaria at the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s 61st Annual Meeting.

Data-driven Decision-making in the Context of IRS Scale-Up and Increased Insecticide Resistance

Thursday, Nov 15, 2012, 8:00 AM – 9:45 AM

Marriott – Marquis C

Symposium Organizer: Dereje Dengela, Abt Associates, Bethesda, MD

Co-Chair: Christen Fornadel, USAID, Washington, D.C.

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In recent years, many African countries have implemented and rapidly scaled up indoor residual spraying (IRS) as a key component of malaria control. At the same time, insecticide resistance in local vector populations has been observed and presents an alarming and rapidly growing threat to malaria control gains.

To slow down and mitigate the inevitable evolution of resistance, National Malaria Control Programs are encouraged to develop long-term strategies, including adopting an Integrated Vector Management approach in which proven vector control methods are used alone, or in combination, and are tailored to the local vector ecology and disease epidemiology in order to prevent or reduce human-vector contact cost-effectively, while addressing issues of sustainability.

According to the Global Strategic Framework for Integrated Vector Management, evidence-based decision making, guided by operational research, entomological and epidemiologic surveillance, and evaluation is a core element for successful IVM implementation. Yet, in many resource-poor settings, availability of such data and its influence on policy decisions may be limited.

Drawing on country examples, this symposium explores innovative approaches to gathering necessary entomological and epidemiological data and reveals how certain country programs have used this information to shape IVM and vector control decisions. For example, we will hear about building local capacity for maximizing entomological monitoring in resource-poor settings. We will learn about the use of risk-mapping in Uganda to identify malaria transmission hot-spots and implications of risk-mapping findings for IRS policy and programming. Additionally, we will learn about how an insecticide-resistance management technical working group in Zambia is shaping what data are collected and how such data are used for decision-making.

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