Malaria elimination is on everyone's lips. In light of the achievements of recent years, scientists hope to eradicate malaria worldwide by 2050. An ambitious but not unattainable mission, as Dr Vas Dev demonstrates in his latest book entitled "Vector Biology and Control - An update for malaria elimination initiative in India".
Between 1955 and 2019, more than 38 countries and territories were declared malaria-free by the World Health Organization, including Maldives in 2015, Sri Lanka in 2016, Paraguay in 2018, Algeria and Argentina in 2019. On top of this, some Asian countries such as China and Timor-Leste have not recorded any indigenous cases since 2017.
These optimistic results are promising and suggest that national efforts are successfully defeating this mosquito-borne disease. This is good news as malaria was responsible for the deaths of more than 400,000 people in the world in 2018.
Children under 5 years of age are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria; in 2018, they accounted for 67% (272 000) of all malaria deaths worldwide.
However, two major challenges may prevent malaria elimination:
- The gradual erosion of expertise to correctly diagnose malaria cases while the disease becomes rare or absent.
- The crucial lack of skilled medical entomologists, an expertise that is getting scarce.
To counter these trends, Dr Dev's latest book on malaria vectors in India gathers essential knowledge for students, medical entomologists, malaria control programme managers and scientists alike interested in mosquito-borne diseases.
The book provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge on malaria control in India and addresses topics such as:
- An illustrated account of bionomical characteristics of vectors in all ecotypes including rural, forested and urban areas.
- Status of resistance to insecticides
- Innovative vector control methods and integrated disease vector control approaches
- The gaps that need to be addressed for achieving malaria eradication by the target date of 2027.
Sylvie Manguin, a medical entomologist and researcher at IRD, has dedicated her life to the study of the Anopheles mosquito species that carry malaria, and this, on three continents including Asia. She contributed to the foreword and chapters two and four of this book.
She had collaborated with Dr Dev in the past, notably by co-editing with him the book “Towards malaria elimination – A leap forward", published in July 2018.