Final MALWEST workshop

The final workshop of the “Integrated surveillance and control programme for West Nile Virus and malaria in Greece (MALWEST)” took place on 24–25 February 2014 in Athens (Greece). The main objectives were:

  • To present the final results of the MALWEST project
  • To discuss and plan the actions related to malaria and WNV for 2014–2018
  • To receive updates from European and American experts on the latest developments on issues related to malaria and WNV.

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A total of 116 experts participated, including MALWEST collaborating partners, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, and representatives of Public Health Departments of Greek Regional Unions. Seven experts were also invited from Europe (WHO, ECDC, Joint Research Centre European Commission, Médecins Sans Frontières) and USA (CDC) in order to present the latest developments on malaria and WNV.

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The workshop lasted two days. On 24 February, the final results of WNV were presented. At the end of the day, the participants were divided into four working groups to discuss future actions regarding WNV. The working groups proposed the following:

  • Data regarding WNV collected by MALWEST project should be published;
  • Continued mosquito surveillance was important and a demographic survey on mosquito species related to WNV transmission should be carried out;
  • New areas in surveillance of wild and domestic birds and equines should be added;
  • Changes in active case detection should be made;
  • Risk assessment models based on mathematical models and existing data should be developed.

On 25 February, the final results of malaria were presented. Three working groups were divided and suggested the following:

  •  Continuing the survey on behaviour of Anopheles spp.;
  • Assessing the sensitivity and specificity of a rapid diagnostic test for malaria and evaluating methods used during screening in the last two years;
  • Continuing the actions in the Municipality of Evrotas (Lakonia) and developing actions in Filia (Regional Union of Karditsa) where malaria cases were recorded the last two years;
  • Continuing action in risk areas level 1 and 2.

 

Persa Tserkezou, Malwest Program, University of Thessalia