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Building out vector-borne diseases in sub-Saharan Africa: an interdisciplinary network focusing on preventing vector-borne diseases through improving the built environment
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What is the burden of vector-borne diseases in sub-Saharan Africa and how are they linked to the built environment?
The BOVA network is co-led by network Directors Professor Steve Lindsay and Professor Mike Davies, and supported by a network Management Board
The BOVA network aims to create an inter-disciplinary network of researchers in the built environment and vector-borne diseases in sub-Saharan Africa
The National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (a unit under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare), Government of India, Hyderabad recently published a book entitled “Extension Guidelines for Pest/ Vector Management in Human Habitations”, looking at the zoonotic diseases transmitted by various common vector groups. The book has 14 chapters contributed by renowned experts in their fields of specialization having experience of around 30 years. The book is being circulated to all Public Health Departments, Local bodies and other extension agencies for adoption of simple and real time operational procedures (SOPs) for containing the vectors as well as pests in common human habitations. Although emphasis was given for Indian conditions, most of the management techniques would be common in other countries also.
• The population of Africa is projected to increase 3-fold before 2100. Enormous
resources will be required to construct houses for the predicted additional 2.5 billion
new inhabitants (alongside provision of food, education, medical care, and other
• This population growth presents an opportunity to incorporate housing concepts that
can improve health and well-being.
• Well-designed houses should provide thermal comfort and a barrier to separate diseasecarrying
vectors from residents, decrease indoor pollution, and incorporate water supply,
sanitation, electricity, and security.
• We identified the following research priority areas: optimal building shape, roofing, vector
barriers, cladding, water supply, sanitation, kitchen design, electricity supply, rural
to periurban housing, and user acceptability.
• Improved housing incorporating novel design elements tailored to local environments
in the hot-humid regions of Africa will require investments that could come through
innovative financing mechanisms for residential property. Better housing will promote
well-being and health and play a critical role in achieving the Sustainable Development