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Vector Control Working Group (VCWG)

Housing and Malaria Work Stream

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Prof Steve Lindsay, Durham University, UK
Mariana Stephens, MPH, Habitat for Humanity International, USA
Working Group Secretariat:
Dr Konstantina Boutsika (Swiss TPH)
Next meeting:

Despite the considerable gains made in global malaria control between 2001-12, the disease remains a substantial public health problem. The reduction in malaria has been achieved largely by the massive scaling-up of vector control, with long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying. Yet the future success of these interventions is threatened by the growing problem of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. There is thus the urgent need to develop supplementary interventions that are not reliant on current insecticides.

A WHO Policy brief in 2014 stated that “There is as yet no evidence to indicate, given the current resources, prevailing health care systems, and existing tools, that malaria elimination can be achieved in high transmission areas with unrelentingly high vectorial capacities, nor that a ‘malaria-free’ status can be sustained in such areas. However, history shows that incremental improvements in socio-economic development, infrastructure, health services, housing, etc. will contribute to decreases in the malaria reproduction rate and will improve the possibilities for malaria elimination over the longer time.” This view is also voiced by Roll Back Malaria (RBM) and the United Nations Development Program in the recent policy document entitled ‘Multisectoral action framework for malaria’ . The need for ‘good’ housing to reduce malaria is echoed throughout the document, yet there is a paucity of evidence supporting this recommendation and uncertainty about what type of housing interventions should be encouraged. There are also programmatic issues of how these interventions could be replicated, scaled-up and sustained. Seeing the need for a better understanding of the impact of housing on malaria, and the opportunities presented by collaboration with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity International and other partners, the RBM Vector Control Working Group established a new work stream in February 2014 to focus on ‘housing and malaria’.

The work stream will bring together expertise from a wide range of disciplines, provide a forum for building the evidence that ‘good housing’, is protective and develop strategies to guide and facilitate incremental housing improvements that will reduce the risk malaria.

Reference Documents

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