Vector Control, Saving Lives

Flying the flag for Vector Control at ECTMIH

IVCC Africa booth at ECTMIH
07 September 2015
Jed Stone

I'm sat in the IVCC booth at the 9th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health in Basel, Switzwerland (ECTMIH). Our presence here is quite small and we are probably the only exhibitor specifically focused on vector control. Most of the exhibitors and a lot of the content of the conference is directed towards the pharmacological approached to controlling tropical diseases.

The Novartis stand opposite is amazing — a working  model railway underlining the message that the pharmaceutical giant is 'On the right track.' So are we, ten years into our mission of developing new vector control tools to keep the battle against malaria on the right track we are smelling the sweet scent of success.

It's encouraging to see aspects of vector control popping up throughout the conference. Professor Hilary Ranson, from the LIverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and one of our exceptional ESAC members is speaking about the challenge of insecticde resistance. Although it is a pressing challenge we are 'on the right track' thanks to the valuable work our agrochemical partners have done in identifying novel active ingredients for new anti-malaria insecticides. 

The latest member of the IVCC team, Dr Slas Majambere, whose name actually means progress, is speaking on the progress that is taking place in vector control. We call it innovation and we need lots of more of it if the deadly scourge of malaria is to be finally defeated. As it will.

That's largely down to our fantastic funders, without whose farsighted cooperation none of this would happen. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UKAID, USAID, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation have been a constant support on the journey, which has now brought us to the point where the end is in sight. Several new active ingedients are approaching the final development phases. In the next few years we will have several new anti-malarial insecticdes that will underpin the final push to eradicate malaria.

That will also require new medicines, better diagnostics, working health systems, equitable access. And one day maybe a marvellous vaccine that will keep people in endemic countries healthy, and genetically modified mosquitoes that will noi longer transmit deadly diseases. As we march on to fulfil our mission it is encouraging to see our colleagues in similar product development partnerships, like Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), on the right track with us. 

If you're visiting ECTMIH call by our booth, say hello, take one of our bags, tell us what you're doing. This is a great place to make new friends and be encouraged and inspired on the journey to a healthier, happier world.

Author

Jed Stone

Jed is responsible for how IVCC communicates with and is perceived by the world, as well as advocacy for vector control.