The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) will lead the social science portion of a five-year, $33.7 million grant from Unitaid designed to evaluate the use of insect repellent-treated plastic sheets to drive away mosquitoes that cause malaria and dengue fever. CCP is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The project, “Advancing Spatial Repellents for Vector-Borne Disease Control”, will be led by the University of Notre Dame and involve several international partners. The program will include two clinical trials, one in Kenya and one in Sri Lanka, as well as studies in refugee settings in Mali and Uganda.
The goal of the program will be to further generate evidence to support a recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) of spatial repellent use for public health purposes and to design systems to ensure it can be deployed properly within humanitarian response situations.
Experts in mosquito-borne illnesses say that while insecticide-treated bed nets have been instrumental in the dramatic reduction of malaria cases and deaths in the past 15 years, other approaches are needed to reduce the number of cases to zero.