Overview of Project:
This project uses a multi-strategic approach to reduce the burden of Zika and other Mosquito Borne Diseases in CARPHA Member States (CMS). Major targeted regional interventions include:
- Building Laboratory Diagnostic Capacity for Arboviral Diseases:-
CMS will be trained in diagnostic tests, such as, Serology and PCR for the detection of arboviruses, including Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue. CMML will continue to provide reference laboratory services for Member States and surge capacity in the event of outbreaks.
- Strengthening In-country Disease Surveillance Systems:-
Assessment of surveillance systems for Vector Borne Diseases will be conducted and recommendations for improvement will be provided. Focus will be placed on potential system measures for future integration of entomological and climactic information to aid in disease modelling for early detection and management of outbreaks. Some focus will be placed on generating educational tools for the tourism sector to increase disease surveillance and reduce disease transmission.
A Vector Borne Disease Training module under the Caribbean Regional Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme CR-FELTP will be designed and piloted to enhance the skills of public health workers in the early detection and response to Zika and other mosquito borne diseases in the Caribbean.
- Realignment of Country Vector Control Programmes and implementation of New technologies for Vector control:-
CARPHA will continue to provide technical assistance to CMS to improve implementation of their Integrated Vector management (IVM) Strategies and to develop country-specific strategies in the area of prevention and control of VBDs. This will contribute to more effective control of mosquito vectors in the Caribbean. CARPHA will also continue to (i) provide training to CMS in the area of Insecticide Resistance Testing (IRT) and (ii) evaluate vector control measures in CMS with a view to providing recommendations for improvement. Training in the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which will help in collating and merging relevant datasets for real-time surveillance for timely and targeted responses for vector control interventions will be pursued. In addition, new tools, products and techniques for more effective control of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases will be piloted.
- Focused community engagement strategies to promote behavioural change Through Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) national studies, evidence will be generated on how individuals make decisions and take action to reduce their risk of contracting Zika and other mosquito borne diseases. This evidence will inform the development of effective policies, strategies and programmes to address mosquito-borne diseases and strengthen community engagement interventions. The latter will include launching a public health education campaign in at least one CMS and using innovative tools such as the CARPHA Zap-a-quito app.
- Improved access to national level health information to aid research and health policy on VBDs:-
Documents related to Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases will be harvested, digitized and uploaded onto CARPHA’s knowledge-sharing portal, and made readily available to policymakers and other stakeholders in the Caribbean.
- Improved Partnerships, Networks and Coordination:-
International and regional partners that work in the area of VBDs will be engaged to ensure effective coordination of projects and activities to minimize duplication within the region and promote maximum usage of resources.
The Caribbean Vector Borne Disease Network (CariVecNet), which serves as a platform for information-exchange and collaboration among partners will be operationalized and expanded. This network focuses on the use of evidence-based information to improve surveillance, diagnosis, clinical management and vector control strategies.