Countries seek to strengthen strategies for prevention, control, and elimination of vector-borne diseases

Países buscan fortalecimiento de las estrategias de prevención, control y eliminación de las enfermedades transmitidas por vectores

PAHO/WHO held a regional workshop to address the environmental determinants of health in vector prevention and control strategies, including interventions in environmental health to reduce the impact of arboviral diseases.

Washington, D.C., 13 August 2019 (PAHO/WHO) — On August 1-2, in Panama City (Panama), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) held a regional workshop, Addressing the environmental determinants of health in vector prevention and control strategies, to strengthen strategies for the prevention, control, and elimination of vector-borne diseases, including action on environmental health to reduce the impact of arboviral diseases in the population.

This activity brought together health ministry managers responsible for the preparation, management, and implementation of vector prevention and control strategies, as well as environmental health managers from Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, and Panama, and also PAHO/WHO advisors.

Climate change and other environmental changes are among the main factors that have led to the emergence or reemergence of vector-borne diseases. These factors can affect transmission patterns, increase the number of cases, extend transmission seasons, and increase the geographical areas affected. There is a need for integrated, multisectoral approaches, such as initiatives that promote healthy spaces, improvement of solid waste management, and the disposal of used tires (one of the factors that most contributes to the proliferation of the mosquitoes that transmit dengue, Zika, and chikungunya). Interventions to guarantee increased water coverage and continuity of water services, as well as adequate management of sanitation and hygiene, are essential to reduce vector breeding sites.

Prior to the activity, PAHO’s Neglected, Tropical and Vector Borne Diseases unit and its Climate Change and Environmental Determinants of Health unit conducted a situation analysis in Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Peru on interventions in water, sanitation, hygiene, solid waste, healthy spaces, and urban planning for vector prevention and control at the national and local levels, with emphasis on tire management and disposal.

The results of the situation analysis and the workshop will be used to strengthen the actions set out in the PAHO Plan of Action on Entomology and Vector Control 2018-2023, by addressing the environmental determinants of health. A regional road map was also prepared to strengthen institutional and community capacities in vector prevention and control through environmental interventions along five strategic lines: strengthening platforms for interprogrammatic and intersectoral coordination; strengthening human resources; production of evidence; environmental health interventions; and resource mobilization.

PAHO works with Member States to strengthen and develop the capacity of health systems to prevent, control, and eliminate vector-borne disease transmission through integrated management and public health entomology. PAHO also supports health systems through the Climate Change and Health program for better planning and implementation of prevention and adaptation measures, among others.