This Fist Bump Friday goes out to two VectorLink Liberia technicians, Tuwuyor Belleh and Gift M. Golay, who have gone above and beyond their entomological duties by finding ways to improve community relations and increase acceptance for entomological monitoring activities. Tuwuyor and Gift successfully recruited 16 community health volunteers (CHVs) from four sentinel sites to help conduct routine pyrethrum spray catch and CDC light trap activities in 20 homes. The team assessed the feeding behavior and identified the density of the malaria vector most common in Liberia, with the added support of using volunteers from the community that helped further mobilize residents as they were able to learn more about the project’s activities from familiar trusted sources.
Gift and Tuwuyor used similar recruiting efforts to help with insecticide resistance monitoring efforts in eight counties. In collaboration with NMCP staff, Gift and Tuwuyor recruited four CHVs to help with larval collection for use in insecticide resistance testing. Results showed that Anopheles gambiae s.l. populations in all counties of Liberia were resistant to pyrethroids. Tests also confirmed that using a new brand of insecticide, chlorfenapyr, was more effective on the malaria vectors. Based on these results, VL Liberia made the recommendation to Liberia’s MOH to use ITNs based on chlorfenapyr and alpha-cypermethrin in the next 2021 mass campaign.
Engaging the community and recruiting volunteer health workers has increased ownership of each community’s commitment to reducing malaria. Congrats Gift and Tuwuyor in your efforts!