We’re finding new ways to tackle age-old problems by replenishing our mosquito control arsenal to prevent ongoing disease transmission.
Despite all the best prevention efforts, mosquitoes are still finding ways to bite and infect humans with diseases like malaria and dengue. Mosquitoes are smart, and they are biting earlier and later in the day and innovating faster than we are. Controlling and eliminating killer diseases will require new approaches that complement existing tools. The AEGIS project will generate further evidence about spatial repellents, a mosquito control product with the potential to dramatically improve malaria and dengue control across a range of low- and middle-income country contexts.
We’re building on decades of promising evidence and filling the gaps in data to ensure that a lifesaving product reaches those who need it the most.
Through a series of high-quality research studies in Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Sri Lanka, the AEGIS project will complement existing studies and confirm how efficacious spatial repellents are in repelling mosquitoes and thus in reducing malaria and dengue infections on a large-scale. These studies will generate the type of evidence the World Health Organization needs to make a recommendation on the use of spatial repellents as a complement to existing mosquito control strategies.
Through a series of randomized control cluster trials (RCTs) and operational research (OR) studies, the AEGIS project will build on existing evidence and provide the WHO with the data it needs to make spatial repellents available to those who need them most. The project is designed as a stage-gated 5-year program and will be achieved through a malaria RCT in Kenya, a malaria RCT in Mali, an Aedes-borne virus RCT in Sri Lanka, and a malaria OR study in a refugee settlement in Uganda. An agile approach has been adopted to allow for flexibility in the research design and plans may change.
Analyses will be conducted for the health and economic impact of spatial repellents, the cost of implementation, and the cost of manufacturing. Evidence will encourage competition, create downward pressure on prices, inform the probability of adoption of spatial repellents into national programs, and therefore increase access to spatial repellents filling the historic coverage gap resulting from an inability to reach underserved populations.
End-users will need to consider spatial repellents socially acceptable and effective. Using social science methodologies, the project will investigate factors that could facilitate or inhibit successful implementation of spatial repellents.
The AEGIS project will ensure the necessary evidence is available in a timely manner to advocate for the use of spatial repellents as a complementary vector control intervention.