World Health Organisation


Alicia Halbach

Cite as

Measures to combat vector-borne diseases

In recent years, vector-borne diseases have become one of the biggest public health threats, accounting for more than 17% of all infectious diseases and causing more than 700 000 deaths annually. South-East Asia is one of the most affected regions with prevalent mosquito-borne (malaria, zika, dengue, Japanese encephalitis), sandfly-borne and snail-transmitted diseases (schistosomiasis). Efforts to reduce and control the spread of these diseases has fortunately also been growing worldwide. In 2014, World Health Day focused on vector-borne diseases with the aim of increasing awareness and encouraging health authorities in impacted countries to take preventive measures. But whilst there has been a worldwide push towards action, it has not been easy. Insecticide resistance (vectors) and drug resistance (parasites) has spread in recent years posing a major threat to the progress in disease control and elimination measures. Furthermore, globalisation and international travel has made it easier for vectors and pathogens to spread. For example, 90% of all malaria cases in China in 2013 were imported. An inc...