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Research Project: Improved Vector-Borne Disease Response in South Asia

Location: Foreign Arthropod Borne Animal Disease Research

Project Number: 3022-32000-025-023-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2023
End Date: Sep 14, 2027

The objective of this project is to improve response to dengue fever outbreaks and other insect transmitted pathogens in South Asia, build local capacity to forecast and control mosquito populations, and identify potential interventions to decrease the disease burden of vector-borne diseases in the region. To accomplish this goal, stakeholders will be recruited from interested South Asian countries to attend a virtual seminar series to increase understanding of dengue fever and other vector-borne diseases as well as to promote best practices and potential interventions to help control viral outbreaks and vector mosquito populations. The seminar will be sponsored by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additionally, DOS, CDC, and USDA will partner with the cooperator to hold one or more in-person meetings to convene stakeholders to foster learning, collaboration, and response coordination on vector-borne illnesses and associated challenges. Meetings will also present pathogen and mosquito forecasting models and management technologies to improve decision making and action plans. This project will also undertake small-scale pilots in Nepal and Bangladesh to identify and assess small interventions with significant impact on dengue transmission working with the Lalitpur and Dhaka North municipalities. Both activities will improve communications and capacity building and strengthen ties with the public health agencies, in-country organizations, the DOS, CDC, and the USDA.

Project activities will target key private sector, civil society, and government interlocutors that will have the greatest impact on dengue transmission, and include: (1) Dengue seminar series: The seminar series will be a virtual discussion that encourages active participation with the individual countries contributing information to customize the available tools to the resources and situation of each location. There will be one seminar for each country. (2) In-person Meetings: One or more in-person meetings in Nepal with regional stakeholders (Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Maldives, among others) to convey the best management strategies for mosquito, dengue, and other vector-borne disease management and to introduce some of our software and forecasting models to the various groups in the countries. Ideally this meeting will have stakeholders (experts) from all parts of the dengue transmission cycle (public health, mosquito management, environment, etc.) and these people can be in government or the private sector. (3) Small-scale Pilots: The implementation of a single simple method that will have a large impact on mosquito management interventions in Nepal and Bangladesh. This single intervention is yet to be determined in both countries and will be decided by the governments of Nepal and Bangladesh and action coordinated by in country collaborators.