A Strategy for Integrating Best Practices with New Science to Prevent Disease Transmission by Aedes Mosquito Vectors
The Zika Vector-Control Science and Technology (S&T) Strategy presented here was developed by a Federal Task Force chartered under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) in response to President Obama’s direction to identify new S&T approaches to mosquito-vector control.
The first actions of the NSTC Task Force were to expeditiously prepare a landscape analysis of existing vector-control S&T research, from which high-priority, near-term opportunities were identified to assist in responding to the anticipated summer 2016 surge in Zika transmission. The Task-Force Strategy builds on these initial actions by providing a more in-depth analysis of short-, medium-, and long-term Zika vector-control S&T needs.
Social/Behavioral Science for Community Engagement is identified as a short/medium-term need with specific recommendations include expanding research on:
- improving our understanding of citizen reactions to vector-borne diseases, and how to encourage citizens to optimize their own personal health protection practices and engagement in community-wide public health strategies, including overcoming social and economic impediments to implementing existing integrated vector management (IVM) strategies, and
- how to engage and inform individuals and communities when Federally-approved, albeit novel, vector-control strategies offer the potential for improved mosquito and disease control with less risk to human health and the environment, and yet these opportunities ultimately require understanding and acceptance by impacted communities, including their balancing of the risks from the disease against imputed (rightly or not) risks from the proposed intervention.