Revisiting an old idea: engineering against vector-borne diseases

20 September 2018
Anne Wilson, Mike Davies, Steve Lindsay

On 21 April 1983 the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene held a joint meeting with the Institute of Civil Engineers at Manson House on ‘Engineering against Insect-borne Diseases in the Domestic Environment’. The summary of a talk by Chris Schofield and Graham White on ‘House design and domestic vectors of disease’ was published in a special issue of the Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The manuscript highlights the home and peri-domestic environment as an important site of transmission for many vector-borne diseases, due to the presence of people, and in some cases animals, on which to feed, and provision of shelter from predators and extreme climate.

The theme of controlling vector-borne diseases through the built environment is echoed in a new initiative launched last year called the BOVA (Building Out Vector-borne diseases in sub-Saharan Africa) Network, which is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund.