Pan African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA) in collaboration with Society for Mosquito Control in Nigeria (SMCN) organised the 3rd Annual Conference which took place at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria between the 6th – 9th September 2016. The three days’ conference was attended by 250 delegates on each day from African countries and worldwide. Delegates were drawn from different sectors including; the academia, research institutions, private sector, policy-makers, non-governmental organizations, developmental partners, media and other stakeholders from different continents.
The theme of the conference was “Control of Mosquito Vectors: Opportunities & Challenges in the 21st Century”. The conference was guided by 7 – Sub-themes: Impact of environmental changes and urbanization on Anopheles control; Emerging and re-emerging mosquito-borne diseases in Africa; Insecticide Resistance in mosquito vectors; Capacity building for entomological surveillance; Private and commercial sector participation in the control of mosquito vectors; Community interventions in mosquito control and Mosquito Biology and Control. These themes were packaged into comprehensive scientific and poster presentations as well as high level plenary and stimulating symposia sessions which discussed the latest developments and issues in the mosquito research.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the PAMCA President Prof. Charles Mbogo urged delegates to leverage the opportunity offered by the conference to forge new networks, build collaboration and share finding / results thus forge a way forward in tackling the challenges in vector borne diseases control in Africa.
He further highlighted some of the key challenges to vector control such as poor infrastructural and human capacity, poor local funding, high vector density, weak surveillance systems and management, poor community engagement, increasing threat of insecticide resistance. In addition, global attention to mosquito vector control, the existence of disease-specific vector control strategies, training opportunities on integrated surveillance efforts across disease vectors and industry – partners interest offered opportunities to tackle vector control in the 21st century, he said.
Prof. Mbogo urged delegates to adapt diverse strategy rather than single strategy in tackling vector borne diseases. He also emphasized the need to build regional capacity of entomologists. “As new tools on malaria elimination are developed, we need the entomologists to be in the forefront to learn how to use these tools” he quipped.
Delivering the key note speech, Dr. Abraham Mnzava(the former head of vector control at the WHO Global Malaria Programme – GMP) said vector control is the key to reduction in disease transmission and burden. He added that vector control significantly reduced transmission and disease, dengue and yellow fever in the Americas in the 1950s and 1960s. Recent global reductions in malaria mortality and morbidity is partly due to the massive scale-up of insecticidal bed nets and indoor residual spraying.
According to WHO estimates, between 2000 and 2015 malaria case incidence and death rates have respectively decreased by 37% and 60% globally, he added. The proportion of children under 5 sleeping under an ITN has increased markedly in sub-Saharan Africa, from less than 2% in 2000 to an estimated 68% in 2015. This shows that malaria is still a problem in Africa.
He continued to say that increased global travel and trade, unplanned urbanization, climate change and humanitarian emergencies (natural and man-made) are factors that affect the reach of vector populations and the diseases they spread. Nonetheless, insecticide resistance has increased – both in distribution and intensity – particularly for pyrethroids, there is still weak entomological monitoring and reporting (including IR) at country level and thus building such capacity is key to rolling out new vector control tools to address IR and other threats i.e. outdoor malaria transmission.
Dr. Mnzava further said that comprehensive vector control needs assessment/situation analysis, countries and their partners need to: Establish and strengthen structures for VBDs, identify and coordinate the planning and implementation of vector control with relevant health sectors, have one national plan on VBDs (not disease specific), build human capacity – through regional and national training, use a curriculum that is relevant to the needs of control programmes, include epidemiology and mapping skills, focus on postgraduate training in partnership with national and international institutions, pro-actively contribute to global strategies and translate them at the national level and here in Africa, PAMCA provides that platform.
PAMCA was lauded as an important body that stands out as a single group of experts in Africa to seek solutions to prevention and control of the threatening vector borne diseases.
Speaking during a PAMCA symposium at the conference, Dr. Awololo said “He who wears the shoe, knows where it pinches” Delegates from countries that had not established PAMCA were urged to do so. Delegates on their side urged PAMCA to expand membership to include representatives from control programmes, mobilize resources to support operational research, need to bridge academia, industry and control bodies, find ways of linking African Head of State through AMCA, WHO/ AFRO, link up with reginal bodies e.g. ECOWAS. partnership and training of young professionals and public health entomologists.
The President of PAMCA, Prof. Charles Mbogo while responding to questions during the PAMCA symposium stressed the importance of partnerships but insisted that such partnerships must add value to the organization especially those that deal with vector control. It is therefore important to identify what is it that we need to bring in and what do we need to bring on board. We need to define the agenda on exactly what we need” states Mbogo.
Who can join
Membership is open to anyone concerned with or interested in mosquito control and related work, and desiring to participate in the promotion and improvement of such work.
The following categories of membership are available:
- Individual members
- Student members
- Governmental or corporate Members
Prof. Samson T. AWOLOLA
Director, Public Health and Epidemiology,
Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria
+234 8062360702/+234 7055526242
Dr. Adedapo O. ADEOGUN
Research Fellow, Public Health and Epidemiology
Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria
Public Relations Officer
Dr. Hilary OKOH
Senior Lecturer, Department of Animal and Environmental Biology,
Federal University of Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
Dr. Tolu AROWOLO
Public Health Physician and Epidemiologist,
Maryland Department of Health, Maryland, USA