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    Waging a malaria elimination campaign without community support is like fighting a battle with one arm tied behind your back. We need the people who bear the brunt of malaria to understand what elimination program objectives are, and gain their help to identify, deliver and assess solutions likely to achieve these objectives. To successfully prevent malaria and other vector borne diseases, communities at-risk need to be able to access the right tools, understand the benefits of using or facilitating (in the case of indoor residual spraying) vector control methods, seek diagnosis for fever and complete treatment for confirmed cases. As key stakeholders committed to eliminating malaria in Asia Pacific, we need to better understand how to effectively engage communities to achieve vector control program and elimination objectives. These are the issues we will explore during the next APMEN TechTalks, lessons and insights from experienced persons in this field. It is a subject we should all learn about.

    Professor Koen Peeters

    Prof. Koen Peeters is tenure-track professor and heads the Unit of Medical Anthropology at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp. Prof Peeters is also a senior lecturer at the Nagasaki University School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health. He holds a PhD in social and cultural anthropology and has conducted extensive research on sociocultural factors related to infectious disease transmission dynamics, perceptions on health and illness, and their impact on the effectiveness of prevention, control and elimination strategies. His professional experience is characterized by high international mobility and extensive field research in low-income countries, including West Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia

    Josselyn Neukom, APMEN/APLMA Consultant: Josselyn Neukom has 25 years of experience leading design, implementation and evaluation of malaria and other public health programs. An accomplished senior executive, Ms. Neukom has led cross-functional regional and national teams to improve access to and motivate use of game-changing medicines, diagnostic tests and health services to eliminate malaria, improve reproductive health, address malnutrition, stop tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS and reduce non-communicable disease burden.  She has extensive experience co-creating malaria and other public health programs together with targeted communities.  Recently she has assisted manufacturers of innovative, new vector control products to understand and incorporate the needs and preferences of communities into product design as well as other aspects of their go-to-market and market access strategies.  Her technical expertise includes social and behavior change communication, digital health, social marketing and private sector engagement.  She has worked extensively in Asia Pacific, including the last 10 years based in Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as experience in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand.

    Dr Than Naing Soe is the Director Health Literacy Promotion Unit (HLPU), Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar. He previously worked as Deputy Director of Vector Borne Diseases Control within the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program at the Ministry of Health and Sports in Myanmar. In addition, he was the technical assistant to the Union Minister for Health and Sports in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. As deputy director and senior staff member of the Myanmar National Malaria Control Program, his efforts are centered on achieving malaria elimination in Myanmar and the Asia-Pacific region before 2030. Dr Soe has more than 18 years of experience as a government official and more than 10 years of experience in administration, technical logistics, management, and malaria control. In addition to national-level experience, Dr Soe has been involved in overseeing malaria control activities in many remote and hard-to-reach rural villages in Myanmar.