Building resilience to climate-sensitive mosquito-borne viral diseases: preventing hospital-acquired infections and their epidemic spread through integrated mosquito control and sentinel surveillance in Zanzibar hospitals

Project summary

Hospitals can be hotspots for the initiation and spread of infectious disease outbreaks. However, in tropical areas more research is needed to identify and pilot sustainable interventions to minimize the risk of hospital-transmission and epidemic spread of climate-sensitive mosquito-borne viral disease as for example dengue and Zika. The standard of waste and water management in the local environment generates multiple habitats for mosquitoes, while the open structure of tropical hospitals offer easy access for blood-seeking mosquitoes to around-the-clock presence of patients, relatives and staff. This situation creates highly favorable conditions for the spread of mosquito-borne viral diseases. Here one infected person may initiate transmission and result in others carrying infections back to their homes and communities. Zanzibar represents one such setting. The significance of the problem is amplified by the ongoing climate change, poorly developed surveillance capacity and lack of treatment options.

This research aims to build resilience to mosquito-borne viral diseases in Zanzibar by preventing hospital-acquired infections through integrated mosquito control and sentinel surveillance in Zanzibar hospitals. The core team behind the research represents a very broad range of disciplines, sectors and professions needed to come up with innovative, effective and sustainable interventions to address the problem. The research will be guided by previously identified proven and promising interventions including architectural adjustments and the use of mosquito mass trap technologies. The research will advance our knowledge by developing procedures for the selection, co-creation and adoption of interventions into the hospital setting, undertake feasibility and impact assessments and assess novel surveillance approaches for the detection of viruses in mosquitoes. Throughout the project, research capacity will be strengthened focusing at South partner institutions. Dedicated project activities emphasize research to program and research to policy translation.

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