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Vector-borne diseases are a significant health and economic burden to Nepal, especially among the poor of the Terai region.  EHP/Nepal provides technical support on epidemiology, serology, and laboratory diagnosis. The lead article this month describes a recent cross-border workshop on vector-borne diseases, sponsored by EHP.

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September 2000 at EHP

Cross-Border Workshop on Vector-Borne Diseases Held in Nepal

More than 50 experts on vector-borne disease surveillance and control from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal, as well as representatives from selected organizations, participated in a workshop at the Vector-borne Disease Research and Training Center (VBDRTC), Hetauda, Nepal, from July 25 to 28, 2000.

EHP�s program staff based in Kathmandu conducted the workshop. (EHP is implementing a program, jointly sponsored by USAID/Nepal and HMG Nepal�s Ministry of Health, entitled Prevention and Control of Selected Infectious Diseases in Nepal.)

The workshop consisted of three plenary sessions and two working group sessions. In the plenary sessions, experts from each country as well as organizational representatives gave an overview of the technical and operational aspects of vector-borne disease (VBD) control in their area. Speakers from all countries expressed the need for collaborative action and institutional links and networks as vital in combating VBDs.

The workshop closed with a consensus on five follow-up activities to be implemented and coordinated with the support of EHP/Nepal:

(1) Establish VBDRTC/Nepal as a nodal institution to coordinate inter-country  issues on malaria, kala-azar, and Japanese encephalitis. A Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) network and website will also be set up shortly by EHP, with subsequent management by the VBDRTC. 

(2) Conduct a workshop to standardize cross-border VBD surveillance approaches. The goals of the workshop will be:

  • To establish consensus on the operational definition of cross-border surveillance and
  • To provide a forum to produce a detailed surveillance reporting format.

(3) Conduct inter-country training to standardize the laboratory diagnosis of Japanese encephalitis. The potential venue for the training is the National Institute of Virology, Pune, India.

(4) Conduct a workshop on development of behavior change messages, based on findings from a study of community-based approaches in kala-azar prevention in Bihar State, India, and Dhanusha District, Nepal. The tentative venue for the workshop is the VBDRTC, Hetauda, Nepal.

(5) Update cross-border information on vector insecticide susceptibility and drug resistance. VBD program managers from each of the four participating countries--Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal--will be responsible for this activity.

Workshop participants predicted that these activities would contribute significantly to the overall prevention and control efforts of malaria, kala-azar, and Japanese encephalitis in South Asia.

CDC-EHP Partnership

CDC�s Malaria Epidemiology Branch, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (DfID Malaria Programme), and the University of Nairobi are involved in a multi- stage research agenda examining the contribu- tions of social science to malaria control.

This program, focused on sub-Saharan Africa, includes a search of literature pertinent to malaria and social science. Funding for this initial stage was provided by The CHANGE Project (a USAID-funded project). This literature search has resulted in a database of over 400 published and unpublished entries. Development of the database is ongoing.

Under a partnership between CDC and EHP, CDC will send regular updates from the social science-malaria database to EHP; this information will then be added to EHP�s biweekly Current Awareness Bulletins. (To have your name added to the distribution list, please contact Dan Campbell.)

Article on Indoor Air Pollution, by Nigel Bruce et al.

Indoor Air Pollution in Developing Countries: A Major Environmental and Public Health Challenge, by Nigel Bruce, Rogelio Perez-Padilla, and Rachel Albalak, was recently published in WHO Bulletin (vol. 78, no. 9, 1078-1092).

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This was one of five discussion papers prepared for the recent "International Consultation on Indoor Air Pollution," sponsored by USAID and WHO, in collaboration with the World Bank.  EHP served as Conference Secretariat for USAID. For further information on that consultation, see What�s New, May/June 2000.

EHP and E-conferences

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) will hold its Fifth Global Forum in Iguacu, Brazil this November. Preliminary activities leading to the Forum include: a planning meeting in Montreal (early September) and e-conferences (September and October). EHP staff participated in the Montreal meeting and will also facilitate two of the e-conferences. Seven themes have been identified for the Forum. The themes, which will be discussed and debated in e-conferences prior to the meeting in Brazil are:

  • people-centered approaches;
  • sanitation and hygiene promotion;
  • serving the urban poor;
  • water supply and sanitation in a broader context;
  • institutional frameworks;
  • resource mobilization and sustainability; and
  • targets, indicators, and monitoring.

EHP will participate as a Theme Leader for two topics:

  • Sanitation and hygiene promotion (led by SANDEC and EHP, Sept. 11-October 13)

Discussions will focus on household-centered environmental sanitation, ecological sanitation, waste as a resource, school sanitation, social marketing, risk assessment, and campaigning for sanitation priorities.
Subscription address:
[email protected]
Web site:

  • Targets, indicators, and monitoring (led by WELL, EHP, and WHO, September 29-November 3 )

Discussions under this theme will look at ways of relating national goals to local targets, the choice of indicators, and monitoring and evaluation methodologies.
Subscription address:
[email protected]

The seven Forum themes reflect the Collaborative Council�s VISION 21 exercise, the launch of the WHO/UNICEF Global Assessment 2000 (GA 2000) on Water Supply and Sanitation, work undertaken by the Council related to the Manila Action Plan, and other relevant work associated with the World Water Forum held at the Hague in March 2000.

For information regarding subscription to other themes, please send inquiry to: [email protected]

Other web sites with information relevant to the upcoming Forum include:

  • Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council/VISION 21 � http://www.wsscc.org
  • World Water Forum 2000 � http://www.worldwaterforum.org
  • WHO Water and Sanitation Sector Assessment 2000 � http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/wss/Monitoring1.html

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EHP is sponsored by the Office of Health and Nutrition in the Center for Population, Health and Nutrition, Bureau for Global Programs, Field Support and Research of the U.S. Agency for International Development
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Last modified November 25, 2002