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Vector Control Working Group (VCWG)

  • Overview
  • Meetings
  • Reference documents

Co-Chairs:
Dr Michael Macdonald (RBM VCWG)
Dr Jo Lines (LSHTM)
Working Group Secretariat: :
Dr Konstantina Boutsika (Swiss TPH)

RBM Secretariat Focal point:
Dr Jan Van Erps
Tel.: +41 22 791 5867
Next meeting:
TBD

2014-2015 will be pivotal years for malaria control and the VCWG. The challenges are growing and gains seen over the past decade fragile. At the same time there are new opportunities, the linkage to the operationally-focused AMP, the new WHO advisory groups and the growing networks of public health entomologists and vector control professionals. The VCWG can work as an advocate and as a facilitator of communication and information both from the policy level to the field, and as important, from the field to the policy level. The VCWG is truly a partnership organization, with the diversity, creativity and commitment needed to address these complex challenges and to achieve our common vision.

Purpose:

The purpose of the RBM Vector Control Working Group (VCWG) is to align RBM partners on best practices to reach and maintain universal coverage with effective vector control interventions. The VCWG disseminates the normative and policy-setting guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) by helping to translate these norms and standards to international and country-level partners. Moreover, aiming at coordinating the support to countries with regard to implementing WHO guidelines, the VCWG provides an essential forum where diverse partners of the vector control community, from the public sector, the private sector and civil socitey, can come together, reach a common understanding of the threats and opportunities, learn from each other and develop the necessary networks and activities to overcome these challenges.

Rationale:

Malaria control efforts over the past decade have shown remarkable success. According to the 2012 World Malaria Report, between 2000 and 2010, malaria mortality rates fell by 26% globally and by 33% in the WHO Africa region; an estimated 1.1 million malaria deaths were averted, in large part due to the scale up of vector control, especially the deployment of insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS). These fragile gains are now seriously threatened by insecticide resistance in the mosquito vector, by diminishing financial support, by our inability to prevent transmission beyond the reach of our traditional treated mosquito nets and indoor spraying, and by the capacity needs of national programs to implement entomological monitoring and optimize their scant resources for vector control. This is a critical time for global malaria control efforts and for communities that are now at greater risk for a resurgence of malaria illness and death.

In meeting these challenges, the VCWG also sees opportunities. While WHO provides the norms and standards, and the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) provides the broad strategies for control, there is a growing recognition that malaria control cannot be a “one size fits all”. There is a great diversity of transmission ecologies and program capacities, demanding innovation and adaptation of these norms and standards to local contexts.

The diversity of the VCWG is its strength. Whether it is long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) distribution or durability monitoring, IRS capacity building or the global plan for insecticide resistance management (GPIRM) implementation, the diversity of VCWG members allows for a rich dialogue and mutual learning developing more robust and adaptive responses. There are two opportunities in this diverse partnership especially important to the VCWG. First is the place of the commercial sector. Through individual company membership, through participation of consortia such as GBCHealth and CropLife, and through product development partnerships, such as the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), the VCWG provides a forum where all the constituencies, including the commercial sector, can come together to build consensus on the challenges and opportunities in vector control. The second, emerging opportunity of particular importance to the VCWG, is through the recently launched United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-RBM Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria Control, providing a roadmap for engaging an even broader range of partners from the agriculture sector, infrastructure, education, housing and urban development, etc. on mosquito and vector control.

Functions of the Working Group

The VCWG recognizes the heterogeneity of malaria transmission ecology and national health system capacities. There is no single formula for how malaria interventions such as ITNs and IRS should be brought to scale and sustained, and how these can evolve to meet emerging biological, programmatic and financial threats. The VCWG’s scope of work concentrates on the following types of actions:

Convene: Convene stakeholders through meetings, workshops and electronic fora to debate and develop consensus on adaptation and implementation of WHO norms and standards, and to share innovations and experiences on how collectively we can overcome challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities for vector control.

Co-ordinate: Manage fora for building consensus on vector control implementation, including partnerships with the vector control product manufacturers to understand each other’s needs and constraints and to work together to find innovative solutions and stimulate appropriate research and development.

Facilitate Communication: Assemble evidence on best practices and ensure flow of information from the field to the working group and vice versa. Work through the Sub-Regional Networks (SRNs) and in collaboration with other RBM mechanisms to coordinate with partners in mobilizing technical and financial resources and providing support to national control efforts.

For further information, please refer to the VCWG Revised Terms of Reference adopted in January 2014 following the 25th RBM Partnership Board meeting.

Meetings
Reference Documents

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