News

URGENT: See the message from WHO TDR below for a great opportunity:

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Implementation Research

Deadline to request an invitation: 4 October 2019

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a step-by-step online training that will introduce you to designing robust IR projects. You will have access to leading world experts who will take you through the core concepts of IR, including how to: identify the challenges of various health settings; assess the appropriateness of existing strategies; develop new interventions and strategies by working with communities and stakeholders; specify your IR questions; and design rigorous research projects. You will learn how to identify IR outcomes, evaluate effectiveness, and make plans to scale up implementation.

No technical or scientific background is required, though a health background will be an advantage.

Language: English with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

Course starts on 7 October 2019

To apply, please contact:  artc@ug.edu.gh

Consult the course flyer for more information.

More information about TDR MOOC

Below are some fairly recent publications we found interesting (and yes, we acknowledge this reflects personal bias, but it should nevertheless resonate with many vector biologists):

Excellent article by Hannah Margaret Edwards, Vu Duc Chinh, Bui Le Duy, Pham Vinh Thanh, Ngo Duc Thang, Dao Minh Trang, Irwin Chavez & Jeffrey Hii. Characterizing residual malaria transmission in forested areas with low coverage of core vector control in central Viet Nam. Parasites & Vectors 12, Article number: 454 (2019) . See the pdf in the link https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-019-3695-1. Here is some background: “Despite great success in significantly reducing the malaria burden in Viet Nam over recent years, the ongoing presence of malaria vectors and Plasmodium infection in remote forest areas and among marginalised groups presents a challenge to reaching elimination and a threat to re-emergence of transmission. Often transmission persists in a population despite high reported coverage of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), the mainstay control method for malaria. To investigate what factors may contribute to this, a mixed-methods study was conducted in Son Thai commune, a community in south-central Viet Nam that has ongoing malaria cases despite universal LLIN coverage. A cross-sectional behavioural and net-coverage survey was conducted along with observations of net use and entomological collections in the village, farm huts and forest sites used by members of the community. “

Then there is another interesting one by at least some of the same authors as above: Hannah Edwards et al. 2019 Malaria journal. Transmission risk beyond the village: entomological and human factors contributing to residual malaria transmission in an area approaching malaria elimination on the Thailand–Myanmar border.
https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-019-2852-5 . The conclusions of this study were: “Entomological and epidemiological findings suggest drivers and modulators of sustained infection prevalence in the area to be: higher mosquito abundance in forested areas where LLINs were used less frequently or could not be used; late sleeping and waking times coinciding with peak biting hours; feeding preferences of Anopheles taking them away from contact with LLIN and indoor residual spraying (IRS), e.g. exophagy and zoophagy; non-use of LLIN and use of damaged/torn LLIN; high population movement across the border and into forested areas thereby increasing risk of exposure, decreasing use of protection and limiting access to healthcare; and, Plasmodium vivax predominance resulting in relapse(s) of previous infection. The findings highlight gaps in current intervention coverage beyond the village setting”.

Also interesting is the one by Nils Kaehler et al. 2019. Malaria Journal. Prospects and strategies for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Sub-region: a qualitative study.
https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-019-2835-6 . The conclusions of this study include: “Against a backdrop of increasing anti-malarial resistance and decreasing choices of anti-malarial regimens, policy makers and researchers stressed the urgency of finding new malaria elimination strategies. There was consensus that multi-pronged strategies and approaches are needed, that no single potential tool/strategy can be appropriate to all settings. Hence there is a need to customize malaria control and elimination strategies based on the better surveillance data”. This short Conclusions section does not do justice to the excellent content of the paper, highly interesting.

APMEN supporting malaria elimination objectives of member states: The 2nd International Malaria Vector Surveillance for Elimination course.

The APMEN VCWG is partnering with Kasetsart University in Bangkok to present the 2nd International Malaria Surveillance for Elimination course, between 29th September and 11th October. The course will be under the leadership of Professor Theeraphap Chareonviriyaphap, and will focus on capacity building in Country Partner NMCP entomology staff as well as representatives of academic institutions across Asia Pacific. The focus will be on malaria vector diversity, identification, sampling methods and sample processing, but also a good number of topics relevant to malaria entomologists such as Work Plan development, GIS, mapping, Insectary techniques, and Insecticide Susceptibility testing. We have been fortunate in getting the commitment of at least ten experts in these topics to fly in to present lectures and help with the practical work. Thank you to all these people for their time and goodwill!

Unfortunately space is limited, and so applicants had to undergo a rigorous selection process to end up with 31 candidates that will now take part in the course. These 31 persons are from 21 different countries in the Asia Pacific region, and APMEN is very proud to be able to have such a wide range of countries to support in building vector control capacity towards the objective of malaria elimination. Most of the course will take place in Bangkok, but there is also a multi-day field component for exposure to trapping techniques, mosquito collections and mosquito processing instruction. APMEN VCWG is delighted to host these country representatives, and proud that Professor Theeraphap and his team in the Entomology Department of Kasetsart will be presenting the course. Congratulations to these participants who have been selected, we hope you will learn much and build wonderful memories of your trip!

PMI is seeking malaria research partners : Please see below a message sent out by RBM VCWG.

The President’s Malaria Initiative: Evaluation & Research-to-Use Implementation Project
Solicitation Number: GH-BAA-2018-Addendum 04
Agency: Agency for International Development
Office: Washington D.C.
Location: USAID/Washington

Synopsis: 
Through this BAA addendum, USAID seeks creation of a malaria evaluation and research partnership, via an organization or group of organizations, to conduct future program evaluation and research activities, establish consensus for new collaborative research ideas, synthesize and conduct meta-analysis of existing malaria data, and provide solutions to improve evaluation and research data utilization. Please see the following links for more details.

FedBizOpps – https://www.fbo.gov/spg/AID/OP/WashingtonDC/GH-BAA-2018-Addendum04/listing.html
Grants.gov – https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=320960

VectorWorks Releases NetCALC Lite!K

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative VectorWorks Project is pleased to release NetCALC Lite (https://www.vector-works.org/resources/netcalc-planning-tool/). A simplified version of the original NetCALC tool, it is an insecticide-treated net (ITN) quantification tool designed to guide users toward an estimate of their ITN need by distribution channel. This new tool allows users to either input their desired distribution channels or to have NetCALC Lite recommend a channel mix based on a few questions concerning the context of the distribution environment. In as little as five minutes, users can have a printable report detailing ITN need to fulfill programmatic needs in the coming years.

For more information and to access the tool, visit: https://www.vector-works.org/resources/netcalc-planning-tool/

News

URGENT: See the message from WHO TDR below for a great opportunity:

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Implementation Research

Deadline to request an invitation: 4 October 2019

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a step-by-step online training that will introduce you to designing robust IR projects. You will have access to leading world experts who will take you through the core concepts of IR, including how to: identify the challenges of various health settings; assess the appropriateness of existing strategies; develop new interventions and strategies by working with communities and stakeholders; specify your IR questions; and design rigorous research projects. You will learn how to identify IR outcomes, evaluate effectiveness, and make plans to scale up implementation.

No technical or scientific background is required, though a health background will be an advantage.

Language: English with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

Course starts on 7 October 2019

To apply, please contact:  artc@ug.edu.gh

Consult the course flyer for more information.

More information about TDR MOOC

Below are some fairly recent publications we found interesting (and yes, we acknowledge this reflects personal bias, but it should nevertheless resonate with many vector biologists):

Excellent article by Hannah Margaret Edwards, Vu Duc Chinh, Bui Le Duy, Pham Vinh Thanh, Ngo Duc Thang, Dao Minh Trang, Irwin Chavez & Jeffrey Hii. Characterizing residual malaria transmission in forested areas with low coverage of core vector control in central Viet Nam. Parasites & Vectors 12, Article number: 454 (2019) . See the pdf in the link https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-019-3695-1. Here is some background: “Despite great success in significantly reducing the malaria burden in Viet Nam over recent years, the ongoing presence of malaria vectors and Plasmodium infection in remote forest areas and among marginalised groups presents a challenge to reaching elimination and a threat to re-emergence of transmission. Often transmission persists in a population despite high reported coverage of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), the mainstay control method for malaria. To investigate what factors may contribute to this, a mixed-methods study was conducted in Son Thai commune, a community in south-central Viet Nam that has ongoing malaria cases despite universal LLIN coverage. A cross-sectional behavioural and net-coverage survey was conducted along with observations of net use and entomological collections in the village, farm huts and forest sites used by members of the community. “

Then there is another interesting one by at least some of the same authors as above: Hannah Edwards et al. 2019 Malaria journal. Transmission risk beyond the village: entomological and human factors contributing to residual malaria transmission in an area approaching malaria elimination on the Thailand–Myanmar border.
https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-019-2852-5 . The conclusions of this study were: “Entomological and epidemiological findings suggest drivers and modulators of sustained infection prevalence in the area to be: higher mosquito abundance in forested areas where LLINs were used less frequently or could not be used; late sleeping and waking times coinciding with peak biting hours; feeding preferences of Anopheles taking them away from contact with LLIN and indoor residual spraying (IRS), e.g. exophagy and zoophagy; non-use of LLIN and use of damaged/torn LLIN; high population movement across the border and into forested areas thereby increasing risk of exposure, decreasing use of protection and limiting access to healthcare; and, Plasmodium vivax predominance resulting in relapse(s) of previous infection. The findings highlight gaps in current intervention coverage beyond the village setting”.

Also interesting is the one by Nils Kaehler et al. 2019. Malaria Journal. Prospects and strategies for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Sub-region: a qualitative study.
https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-019-2835-6 . The conclusions of this study include: “Against a backdrop of increasing anti-malarial resistance and decreasing choices of anti-malarial regimens, policy makers and researchers stressed the urgency of finding new malaria elimination strategies. There was consensus that multi-pronged strategies and approaches are needed, that no single potential tool/strategy can be appropriate to all settings. Hence there is a need to customize malaria control and elimination strategies based on the better surveillance data”. This short Conclusions section does not do justice to the excellent content of the paper, highly interesting.

APMEN supporting malaria elimination objectives of member states: The 2nd International Malaria Vector Surveillance for Elimination course.

The APMEN VCWG is partnering with Kasetsart University in Bangkok to present the 2nd International Malaria Surveillance for Elimination course, between 29th September and 11th October. The course will be under the leadership of Professor Theeraphap Chareonviriyaphap, and will focus on capacity building in Country Partner NMCP entomology staff as well as representatives of academic institutions across Asia Pacific. The focus will be on malaria vector diversity, identification, sampling methods and sample processing, but also a good number of topics relevant to malaria entomologists such as Work Plan development, GIS, mapping, Insectary techniques, and Insecticide Susceptibility testing. We have been fortunate in getting the commitment of at least ten experts in these topics to fly in to present lectures and help with the practical work. Thank you to all these people for their time and goodwill!

Unfortunately space is limited, and so applicants had to undergo a rigorous selection process to end up with 31 candidates that will now take part in the course. These 31 persons are from 21 different countries in the Asia Pacific region, and APMEN is very proud to be able to have such a wide range of countries to support in building vector control capacity towards the objective of malaria elimination. Most of the course will take place in Bangkok, but there is also a multi-day field component for exposure to trapping techniques, mosquito collections and mosquito processing instruction. APMEN VCWG is delighted to host these country representatives, and proud that Professor Theeraphap and his team in the Entomology Department of Kasetsart will be presenting the course. Congratulations to these participants who have been selected, we hope you will learn much and build wonderful memories of your trip!

PMI is seeking malaria research partners : Please see below a message sent out by RBM VCWG.

The President’s Malaria Initiative: Evaluation & Research-to-Use Implementation Project
Solicitation Number: GH-BAA-2018-Addendum 04
Agency: Agency for International Development
Office: Washington D.C.
Location: USAID/Washington

Synopsis: 
Through this BAA addendum, USAID seeks creation of a malaria evaluation and research partnership, via an organization or group of organizations, to conduct future program evaluation and research activities, establish consensus for new collaborative research ideas, synthesize and conduct meta-analysis of existing malaria data, and provide solutions to improve evaluation and research data utilization. Please see the following links for more details.

FedBizOpps – https://www.fbo.gov/spg/AID/OP/WashingtonDC/GH-BAA-2018-Addendum04/listing.html
Grants.gov – https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=320960

VectorWorks Releases NetCALC Lite!K

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative VectorWorks Project is pleased to release NetCALC Lite (https://www.vector-works.org/resources/netcalc-planning-tool/). A simplified version of the original NetCALC tool, it is an insecticide-treated net (ITN) quantification tool designed to guide users toward an estimate of their ITN need by distribution channel. This new tool allows users to either input their desired distribution channels or to have NetCALC Lite recommend a channel mix based on a few questions concerning the context of the distribution environment. In as little as five minutes, users can have a printable report detailing ITN need to fulfill programmatic needs in the coming years.

For more information and to access the tool, visit: https://www.vector-works.org/resources/netcalc-planning-tool/