The purpose of the Vector Control Working Group (VCWG) is to align RBM partners on best practices to reach and maintain universal coverage with effective vector control interventions.
Working Group Secretariat
Dr Konstantina Boutsika Swiss TPH, Switzerland
This is the first restructure of the Vector Control Working Group in five years!
The decision to restructure the VCWG work streams has been as a result of both a need to revitalize certain activities and after receiving valuable feedback from VCWG members after the last two annual meetings. We have therefore taken the opportunity to capitalize on streamlining of related activities, focus energies on priorities and try to support the delivery of tangible outcomes supporting the needs of the malaria vector control community, completed with a specific Focus Group on Vector Control for Humanitarian Emergencies. Read more
The Working Group will now be based around three primary work streams, within which core themes will be addressed, as shown below under 'VCWG work streams'.
A matrix describing the new work stream structure is here.
In 2021, five virtual events replaced the annual face-to-face meeting of the Working Group
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the given circumstances and restrictions, the VCWG annual meeting was replaced with a series of virtual events in March/April.
Themes of VCWG virtual events:
1. Restructuring of VCWG work streams, call of interest and refreshed focus ---- 18 March 2021
2. Updates from vector control community ---- 15 April 2021
3. Enhancing the impact of core interventions ---- 20 April 2021
4. Implementing the Global Vector Control Response ---- 22 April 2021
5. Expanding the vector control toolbox ---- 29 April 2021
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- Enhancing Impact of Core Interventions
- Expanding the Vector Control Toolbox
- Implementing the Global Vector Control Response
- Until 2020 - IRS IRM Priorities
- Until 2020 - LLIN Priorities
- Until 2020 - Larval Source Management
- Until 2020 - New Tools, New Challenges in Vector Control
- Until 2020 - IVM, Evidence and Capacity
- Until 2020 - VBDs and Built Environment
- Until 2015 – Insecticide Resistance
- Until 2015 – Outdoor/Residual Malaria Transmission
- Until 2015 – Continuous LLIN Distribution Systems
- Until 2015 – Durability of LLINs in the Field
- Until 2015 – Capacity Building for IRS
- Until 2015 – Optimizing Evidence for Vector Control Interventions
- Until 2015 – Entomological Monitoring and Integrated Vector Management (IVM)
Significant gains were made in the fight against malaria in the years between 2000 and 2015; with the scale up of effective vector control interventions such as long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) contributing to a significant reduction in global incidence and mortality from the disease. Vector control has been shown to achieve quick and significant reductions in malaria transmission in many eco-epidemiological settings, and it continues to remain key to achieving malaria elimination.
However, the 2017 WHO World Malaria Report illustrated a decline in these gains with estimates that, in 2016, there were 216 million cases (marking a return to 2012 case levels) and an ca. 445 000 deaths from malaria (similar to that of the previous year). A number of factors contribute to this ‘stalling’ in progress, including, but not limited to, insecticide resistance in vector mosquitoes; limitations around financial support; gaps in our vector control toolbox to address residual transmission and by the challenges for National Programs to meet the needs of entomological monitoring with scarce resources available. These are therefore critical times in the global malaria control effort.
The challenge is to maintain the allocation of resources to achieve effective ongoing protection of at-risk populations, even as disease incidence declines; as insecticide resistance spreads and under diverse transmission settings. Thus, there is an urgent need for innovation and new tools that expand the current intervention paradigms and increase opportunities for more cost-effective and sustainable vector control. Within a resource constrained environment, knowledge sharing is key.
The VCWG therefore promotes basic research and development into new tools, and the translation of vector control priorities into operational research, combining the input of its constituent national and international academia/research and private sector development partners. Through increased collaboration with regional networks such as the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN), Pan African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA) and Pakistan–Islamic Republic of Iran–Afghanistan Malaria Network (PIAM-Net), the VCWG ensures that the specific needs of regional networks are fully considered in its deliberations on global malaria strategies.
The strength of diversity of the VCWG membership allows for rich dialogue and mutual learning and for the development of more robust and adaptive responses to challenges associated with long-lasting insecticidal net (LLIN) distribution & durability; IRS and insecticide resistance management (IRM) capacity building; larval source management (LSM) and expansion of the vector control tool box (ie. new paradigms) to address new challenges.
The VCWG provides a forum where all the constituencies, including the private sector, can come together to build consensus on the challenges, gaps and opportunities in vector control.
Functions of the Working Group
The VCWG has a role to support the implementation of Vector Control Guidance generated by WHO and to harmonise and galvanise those efforts towards achievement of the global malaria elimination targets.
The working group does that through the following specific activities:
Convene: Organize and convene meetings, workshops and electronic fora to debate and develop consensus among stakeholders through adaptation and implementation of WHO norms and standards on one side, but also to share innovations and experiences on how we can overcome challenges collectively and take advantage of emerging opportunities for vector control.
Co-ordinate: Manage fora for building consensus on how to effectively implement, run and sustain vector control programs. This includes building the understanding between the needs of the national programs, the needs of the product manufacturers, academia and implementers to understand each other 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, including communication between VC related networks. Work with other RBM Working Groups and Partner Committees, as appropriate, to coordinate with partners in mobilizing technical and financial resources and providing support to national malaria control efforts.
For further information, please refer to the VCWG Revised Terms of Reference adopted in April 2018 following the 9th RBM Partnership Board meeting. The governance and management of the group follows the Working Group Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).