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IVCC receives new grant funding from the Australian Government to support vector control innovation across the Indo-Pacific Region. 20th March 2024

IVCC is delighted to confirm that the Australian Government, has awarded IVCC a five-year, 17 million Australian dollar grant to advance the control of malaria in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and other Indo-Pacific countries.

Funded through the Australian Government’s Partnerships for a Healthy Region initiative, IVCC will continue the expansion of a vector control toolbox tailored to regional contexts which will better equip countries to prevent, control and work towards eliminating malaria and other vector-borne diseases.

The new grant which runs until January 2029, builds upon the programme of work IVCC initiated in 2018 under its first grant.  The workstreams developed under the new grant will support capacity-strengthening for the evaluation and adoption of new vector control tools in PNG and the further evaluation and uptake of spatial emanators in the Greater Mekong Subregion.  As a new area of focus, IVCC will also support improving the tools and approaches available for the control on Aedes-borne diseases in the region, including dengue and chikungunya.

Under its first grant, IVCC worked with its partners to demonstrate the efficacy of bite prevention tools deployed to forest-exposed populations in Cambodia at risk of malaria. In PNG, national capacity to evaluate and scale-up novel vector control tools was strengthened by developing new entomological facilities, a range of new product trials and establishing a national-led stakeholder network.

IVCC CEO, Justin McBeath said: “We are extremely grateful to the Australian Government for again entrusting IVCC to undertake this important vector control work across Papua New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific region.  In delivering our objectives, IVCC will work with local partners to support capacity development to ensure that local benefits are realised from the project and that the focus areas of the activities address the issues that are important to local communities and the region.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong said: “We cannot have the peaceful stable and prosperous region we want without improving the health and well-being of our region’s communities.  As close neighbours, friends and equals, Australia will continue to work with Papua New Guinea and Indo-Pacific partners to meet current and future health challenges.”


Image credit: Graham Small / IVCC

Bite prevention tools significantly protect against landing in Cambodia field trial 17th May 2022

Recent entomological field results from Project BITE under IVCC’s Indo-Pacific Initiative (IPI) have shown that forest packs containing bite prevention tools offer significant protection from landing mosquitoes. The results come from trials that UCSF-MEI, IVCC’s lead partner on BITE, conducted in Mondulkiri province, Cambodia, with the local non-profit Health Forefront Organization.

The entomological trials were conducted in an area directly adjacent to forest and was comprised of 7 temporary shelters designed to mimic short-term dwellings used by people when working or travelling in the forest. Inside each shelter, one of the bite prevention tools, or a combination of all tools, or a control, were used while volunteers collected mosquitoes via Human Landing Catches (HLC) over a 12-hour period.

Over 49 nights of collections, the entomological field study demonstrated that all products – both on their own and in combination – are highly efficacious at preventing mosquitoes from landing. In fact, all products and combinations reduced mosquito landings by at least 60% compared to the control, while the spatial repellent alone and the combination of all products reduced landings by approximately 95%.

Project BITE aims to evaluate the effectiveness of forest packs containing a spatial emanator, topical repellent, and insecticide-treated clothing when deployed to forest dwellers, goers, and rangers in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Semi-field trials completed in Thailand in 2021 demonstrated that bite prevention tools not only prevent mosquitoes from landing but can also kill and delay host-seeking.

Following the entomological field studies, Project BITE is currently planning on how best to scale-up use of these tools and further evaluate their epidemiological impact, acceptability, use and cost-effectiveness among high-risk forest-exposed populations.

IVCC and its partners are hopeful that the evidence generated by BITE will help make the case to national programmes and donors on the effectiveness of bite prevention tools delivered in forest packs in the fight against outdoor malaria transmission.

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