Identifying strategies that work
"Today, the main method of fighting the disease is the impregnated mosquito net. But it's not the only one: there's a whole arsenal of tools available to combat mosquitoes at different stages of their lives."
Cédric Pennetier, researcher at the Institut de recherche pour le développement and coordinator of the REACT project, implemented in partnership with the Institut Pierre Richet and the Institut de recherche en sciences de la santé.
For three and a half years, from April 2016 to September 2019, researchers tested the effectiveness of four new vector control strategies combined with the use of mosquito nets:
- Spraying insecticides on the walls of homes;
- Treatment of stagnant water and agricultural shallows with larvicides;
- Injecting livestock with ivermectin, a molecule that kills mosquitoes that bite treated animals;
- Raising public awareness of malaria transmission modes.
Sustainable integration of research results into health systems
At the end of the project, the national malaria control programs of Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso were in a position to integrate research findings into their national strategic plans and subsequent activities.
The research has also helped strengthen the epidemiological and entomological knowledge and skills of the project’s stakeholders, as well as those of the health workers and community health agents involved in the activities. The REACT 2 project, led by a consortium enriched by new skills in epidemiology and health program evaluation, has decided to capitalize on this dynamic.
Mobile medical teams close to vulnerable rural populations
Supported by the Initiative, the aim of REACT 2 is to study at the community level in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire the impact of setting up mobile medical and prevention teams working alongside community health workers in rural communities.
These mobile systems should enable community health workers to be more valued and integrated into the primary health care system, to be better trained so that their activities fully comply with national recommendations, and to be supported in the event of referral or treatment difficulties. The ultimate aim is to guarantee effective, rapid care for populations far removed from the healthcare system.