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    Personalities of the Month

    Personalities of the Month

    Personalities of the Month:  Tenzin Wangi, Bhutan.

    Hello, this is Tenzin Wangdi from Bhutan. I am an entomologist at the National Vector-borne Disease Control Programme in the Ministry of Heath, Bhutan. I look after the surveillance and vector control aspects of the national programme, as well as involve in operational research and longitudinal studies.

    I did my Masters’s in Science from the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University in Thailand, under the mentorship of Dr. Sungsit Sungvornyothin, Dr. Patchara Sriwichai and Prof. Chamnarn Apiwathnasorn. For my thesis, I was in rubber plantation areas of Kanchanaburi province of Thailand, studying Anophelines. It was for the first time that the double-layered nets were tested for human landing collection in the field setting in that study.

    Medical entomology is one profession that lacks its voice. Inclusion of entomologist in the decision making process can result in much more impactful outcomes.

    I have been working in the current position since 2015 and had seen various vector-borne diseases afflicting people over the years. Before my current position, I was working as a clinical nurse. I realised that I am more interested in field exploratory work and that made me change my carrier path. As an entomologist we have the opportunity to mitigate the scourge of these diseases. But playing the role of entomologist alone won’t bring much impact to our goal. Being an expert in the field, we need to take up the role of advocator, public health expert, educator and above all, bring a desired change in the behaviour of people through regular campaigns and public awareness programs. After all, without their participation the job will remain half done.

    After I joined the national vector-borne disease control programme I had the opportunity to attend several important workshops and meetings held in the region as well as in WHO headquarters, Geneva. On several occasions, I did presentations on behalf of my country. I had the opportunity to attend trainings both in person and online. I received training on Indoor Residual Spraying for Leishmania vector organized by WHO SEARO in Nepal, I also received a fellowship on Insecticide Resistance Monitoring for malaria vectors in NIMR, India, through the support of APMEN. And recently I attended a training on Malaria Vector Surveillance for Elimination and an online course on GIS organized and supported by APMEN. The trainings that were received helped in developing Insecticide Resistance Monitoring Plan for Bhutan as well as implementing those plans. We also started focal IRS for Leishmania vector not covered by routine malaria spray programs.   The APMEN had also supported me earlier in attending an Integrated Vector Management training in 2014 in Malaysia, focused mainly on dengue. Realizing that community participation plays an important step in the control of Aedes mosquito, the national program instituted Dengue Task Force in various dengue-affected districts and I was involved in training the task force, sector heads and several groups of dengue volunteers on the control of dengue vector.