Joining forces to develop an innovative malaria vector control strategy: ivermectin mass drug administration

Academia, donors, civil society and industry met to discuss the concept of ivermectin mass drug administration for malaria transmission control and explore the potential for collaboration. 

The 68th American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Annual Meeting held last year was the perfect site for the malaria community to review ongoing work and trials testing the concept of ivermectin mass drug administration for malaria transmission control. In an effort to enhance global engagement within the malaria community, the MESA Alliance (funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and hosted by ISGlobal), provided a platform for discussion and knowledge sharing across academia, donors, civil society and industry.

Following up on previous meetings and as a response to significant recent progress in this area, research groups were brought together to present their experiences and approaches of the trials using ivermectin as a complementary vector control tool to reduce malaria transmission, identifying outstanding issues and the potential for further collaboration. The investigators shared updates on the trials and the importance of additional results that can complement the emerging evidence, including cost-effectiveness, modelling data to extend projections to larger populations, environmental impact, community acceptability, and the potential for resistance. At the end of the meeting, both the differences and the commonalities across the trials were seen as a strength when moving along the policy pathway towards a new recommended vector control strategy.

The importance of collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the malaria community, but also across other areas such as the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) community, was the starting point for the IVERMEN Briefing, a gathering that brought together a wider scope of stakeholders, ranging from academia, funders, pharmaceutical industry and the generics manufacturers. The concept of ivermectin mass drug administration for malaria and disease control by the neglected tropical diseases was discussed, in an effort to begin to define the best approaches to work together in order to advance this space. Following updates from the ivermectin field trials for malaria, alternative technologies that promise to extend the duration and impact of ivermectin were reviewed. Finally, funders involved in ivermectin programs shared some updates and comments. It was agreed that a collaborative approach among all actors in the space is critical to moving forward.

Read the summary report of the IVERMEN Briefing. 

Browse the Ivermectin research landscape in MESA Track

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