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By: Emile Dawisha

Malaria Gamechangers, Ep. 10: Outdoor Mosquito Management

April 16, 2024
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Part 10 of our Malaria Gamechangers series (check out Episodes 1-9) highlights outdoor mosquito management. Controlling mosquito populations, from the larval to the adult stage, has long been a cornerstone of local, regional, and country-level efforts to combat malaria, along with other mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile, dengue, Zika, and yellow fever. It takes an integrated strategy that includes removing mosquito habitats, larvicide and adulticide spraying, and surveillance of mosquito species and breeding areas. But the impact of sustained mosquito control are profound: Mosquitoes kill over 700,000 people every year and place an immeasurable burden on health systems and economies around the world.

We spoke with Jason Clark, Global Director of Public Health & Forest Health at Valent BioSciences, a global leader in bio rational solutions for public health programs — including mosquito management. You can watch the film and read the full transcript below.

Why is outdoor mosquito management a gamechanger in the fight against malaria?

“When you look at outdoor mosquito control in a continent like Africa, that is historically been indoor mosquito control, it’s not so much about gamechanging products. It’s about paradigm shifting philosophies. It’s a lot different controlling a mosquito inside a house versus, you know, managing the ecology, looking at larval source management outside. So when we talk about gamechangers, it’s really about starting with the problems and the whole philosophy of how you approach those problems.”

Globally, how does outdoor mosquito management fit within public health strategies?

“In terms of the 58 plus countries we operate in, in Asia and Latin America and in developed countries like in Europe and the United States, it’s about mosquito management, because when we focus on the mosquito, then you’re able to leverage those very few dollars that are given to public health, to even do these programs, to not just do malaria, but to address all of these other health issues and the other diseases they transmit. I think we really need to start thinking about how we manage programs in malaria that way, versus constantly being just product centric or commodities focused.”

What is the long-term outlook of malaria elimination efforts in Africa? 

“The tendency is always to think, yeah, but Africa is different. And I would agree with that sentiment — that it is different. In fact, it’s way more advanced than these countries were when they started the process of eliminating malaria: more technology, more access to data. Yet, you know, those back in, you know, the early to mid 20th century we were able to do this. And so we have to answer the question, why? A lot of that happens through public private partnerships. And so we need to take what what has been successful in the past that’s been proven out at scale countrywide, you know, around the world so that we can, you know, reach that last mile and bring malaria down to zero.”

Stay tuned as we highlight more Malaria Gamechangers!

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