Editorial

Enhancing Intersectoral Collaborations: Winning the Fight against Vector-borne Diseases

  • Pilarita T. Rivera, MD, PhD

Abstract

The epidemiology of vector mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue defines the interface between mosquito to human, and that between human to mosquito, as well as multiple economic, social, cultural, political and behavioral factors that expose humans to the mosquito bite, resulting in infection. Environmental factors such as suitable mosquito breeding sites, tropical climate and topography, increase mosquito density and man biting behavior resulting in infection and transmission. Different interventions to kill vector mosquitoes (adulticides and larvicides), prevent the mosquito bite (insecticide treated nets, curtains, repellents), diagnosis (rapid tests) and treatment (ACTs for malaria), have been implemented, and have been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality particularly for malaria. But can disease control be realized and sustained? Can disease elimination and prevention of re-introduction be achieved? A better understanding of the epidemiology and control of vector-borne diseases clearly shows that the responsibility is not with key affected populations and the health sector only, but with all those sectors and stakeholders that impact on the disease, be it at the local and national levels. This is the basis of creating and implementing intersectoral collaborations (ISCs) for vector-borne diseases. The article was able to draw together and analyzed multi-country experiences on ISCs for malaria and dengue. The ISC structure, goals, inputs and outputs as well as outcomes of existing models were described. Gaps in planning and implementation were noted, and recommendations were added. The resulting data can be used to develop an enhanced ISC framework for more effective implementation and success. The Philippines had quite a number of malaria control initiatives built on partnerships with bilateral agencies- USAID, USNAMRU, WHO, JICA, AusAID, NGOs, private corporations, religious organizations, military, and that have contributed in disease control.1 Notable are the Palawan and Agusan del Sur experiences. In 1999, the Palawan provincial government and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, as its corporate social responsibility, established Kilusan Ligtas Malaria to control malaria in the island.2,3 The program’s multi-sectoral and social mobilization strategies that have been adopted by Global Fund have resulted in impressive decline of malaria cases and deaths, even to this time. High social capital may ensure the sustainability of these strategies.4,5 In 1995, Agusan del Sur, another malarious province, implemented the project “Implementation and Evaluation of a Self-Sustaining Community-Based Malaria Control Program in the Philippines” through the Australian International Development and Assistance Bureau. Initially a collaborative project of RITM and DOH-Malaria Control Services, it was gradually devolved to the Province of Agusan del Sur, which created its Provincial Technical Advisory Committee, Provincial Management Team and Community Trust Fund to implement and sustain malaria control.6 Last year, Agusan del Sur was declared malaria-free. How to be successful may not be elusive and enhanced Intersectoral Collaborations may be the winning formula in the fight against malaria and other vector-borne diseases.
REFERENCES 1. Tongol-Rivera P. Milestones in the history of malaria research and control in the Philippines. In: Kano S, Tongol-Rivera P, eds. Malaria in Asia. Asian Parasitology Series Monograph The Federation of Asian Parasitologists. 2005; 6:135-166. 2. Angluben RU, Trudeau MR, Kano S, Tongol-Rivera P. Kilusan Ligtas Malaria: Advancing Social Mobilization towards Sustainable Malaria Control in the province of Palawan, the Philippines. Trop Med Health. 2008; 36(1):45-9. 3. Matsumoto-Takahashi ELA, Tongol-Rivera P, Villacorte EA, Angluben RU, Jimba M, Kano S. Bottom-up approach to strengthen community-based malaria control strategy from community health workers’ perceptions of their past, present, and future: a qualitative study in Palawan, Philippines. 2018. Trop Med Health. 2018; 46(1):24. 4. Tongol-Rivera P, Kano S, Saniel O, Solon JA, Villacorte E. Social Capital and Malaria Control in Palawan, the Philippines. 2010 (unpublished). 5. Valdecanas OC, Tuazon RR, Barcelona DR. Understanding Social Mobilization. In: The Philippine Experience, How Social Mobilization Works. UNICEF, the Philippines. 1996; pp. 9-19. 6. Linao RT. Finding and Funding Means: Beyond the Elimination of Malaria in Agusan del Sur. Foundation for the Development of Agusanons, Inc. 2014.


Pilarita T. Rivera, MD, PhD
Associate Editor
Department of Parasitology
College of Public Health
University of the Philippines Manila

REFERENCES
1. Tongol-Rivera P. Milestones in the history of malaria research and control in the Philippines. In: Kano S, Tongol-Rivera P, eds. Malaria in Asia. Asian Parasitology Series Monograph The Federation of Asian Parasitologists. 2005; 6:135-166.
2. Angluben RU, Trudeau MR, Kano S, Tongol-Rivera P. Kilusan Ligtas Malaria: Advancing Social Mobilization towards Sustainable Malaria Control in the province of Palawan, the Philippines. Trop Med Health. 2008; 36(1):45-9.
3. Matsumoto-Takahashi ELA, Tongol-Rivera P, Villacorte EA, Angluben RU, Jimba M, Kano S. Bottom-up approach to strengthen community-based malaria control strategy from community health workers’ perceptions of their past, present, and future: a qualitative study in Palawan, Philippines. 2018. Trop Med Health. 2018; 46(1):24.
4. Tongol-Rivera P, Kano S, Saniel O, Solon JA, Villacorte E. Social Capital and Malaria Control in Palawan, the Philippines. 2010 (unpublished).
5. Valdecanas OC, Tuazon RR, Barcelona DR. Understanding Social Mobilization. In: The Philippine Experience, How Social Mobilization Works. UNICEF, the Philippines. 1996; pp. 9-19.
6. Linao RT. Finding and Funding Means: Beyond the Elimination of Malaria in Agusan del Sur. Foundation for the Development of Agusanons, Inc. 2014.

Published
2019-08-30
Section
Articles