Innovation to control dengue disease in Asia
Asian researchers have developed new environmental and community approaches to reduce the number of mosquitoes carrying dengue, the fastest-growing mosquito-borne viral disease. Dengue is a significant economic and social burden in many countries worldwide.
Six research institutions and their community partners in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand have put in place a range of community-driven approaches. For example, community groups are now using socially and culturally appropriate outreach materials to educate people on the importance of covering water storage containers, a frequent breeding site for the mosquitos that transmit dengue, and on using insecticide-treated window screens. These approaches complement routine government disease-control services that use insecticides to kill mosquitoes and larvae.
Insecticide use has dropped in the communities as a result of these efforts. New community groups (such as Ecohealth Clubs and Environmental and Health Associations) have been created to tackle environmental hygiene and sanitation challenges such as recycling and composting.
IDRC collaborated with WHO and the UN Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) to support this work between 2006 and 2011. A similar collaborative program with TDR supports nine projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, with funding from IDRC, WHO, and the Canadian International Development Agency. TDR and IDRC recently launched a new collaboration on climate change and vector-borne diseases in Africa.