Vector Control Advisory Group (VCAG) on new tools
WHO is tasked with guiding vector control policies and practices to respond and adapt to rapidly changing needs in public health vector control. By strengthening the Organization’s capacity to assess the public health value of new vector control tools and technologies and develop appropriate technical recommendations, the newly established Vector Control Advisory Group supports national and global efforts to control and eliminate vector-borne diseases worldwide.
The Vector Control Advisory Group (VCAG) on new tools serves as an advisory body to WHO on new forms of vector control for malaria and other vector-borne diseases. This advisory group was jointly established by the Global Malaria Programme and the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases.
VCAG aims to support the control and elimination of vector-borne diseases by providing a pathway forward for novel forms of vector control
The VCAG has the following functions:
- To review and assess the public health value, “proof of principle” (epidemiological impact) of new tools, approaches and technologies; and
- To make recommendations on their use for vector control within the context of integrated vector management in multi-disease settings.
When is a paradigm or category “new”?
A product, technology or approach is considered a new paradigm if one or more of the following conditions are met:
- An intervention or combination of interventions that protects humans against a different group of vectors or in different transmission settings (or contexts), different human populations or via a different mechanism from existing methods, e.g. an odour-baited trap or a genetically-modified insect.
- An intervention where one or more of its characteristics is sufficiently changed that entomological effect alone is not sufficient to imply epidemiological effect, e.g. a resistance-breaking bednet.
- When a product is not adequately described by an existing target product profile (TPP) and validation will result in the development of a new TPP, and hence a new product class.
Key outputs: VCAG will communicate with innovators on the development of early-stage vector control paradigms. Ultimately, VCAG will assess the “proof of principle” of new candidate vector control technologies/paradigms to determine whether the evidence about the intervention is sufficient to justify its potential application for some public health purpose in one or more environmental settings. Assessments will be published in the VCAG annual report and presented in the form of a recommendation to the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee of the Global Malaria Programme and/or the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases for public health policy recommendations.