The first Entomology Training Workshop was held in The Gambia at MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM from 27th August to 6th September 2018 under the umbrella of The West African Network of Excellence for TB, AIDS and Malaria (WANETAM-2). The WANETAM-2 package is a collaborative project that aim to build research capacity in TB, AIDS and Malaria for partner institutions. The MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM under Professor Umberto D’Alessandro leads the malaria component of the project.
The workshop, which was led by Dr. Kevin Opondo, Dr. Benoît S. Assogba, and Musa Jawara from the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM focused on malaria vector research in the context of malaria elimination. Dr. Ibrahima Dia from Institute Pasteur Dakar in Senegal and Dr. Samson Kiware from Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania also took part in teaching at the workshop.
The rigorous 10-day workshop trained participants on theoretical and field-based entomology involving field activities, laboratory techniques, data base management and statistical analysis of entomological data. They were trained on mosquito ecology and vector control, sampling techniques, determination of insecticide resistance using both phenotypic and genotypic assays following World Health Organization protocol. They also learnt how to design proper databases to store entomological data and how to perform basic and advanced statistical analysis of different types of vector data.
The training provided participants with a better understanding of the ecology and biology of the malaria vector Anopheles species and the theory of malaria transmission and control.
Participants came from partner institutions in five countries; Centre Muraz Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Faso, Malaria Research and Training Centre in Mali, Réseau Africain de Recherche sur le SIDA/ Institut de Recherche en Santé de Surveillance Epidémiologique et de Formation (RARS/IRESEF) in Senegal, Institute Pasteur Dakar in Senegal and College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences in Sierra Leone and MRCG at LSHTM in The Gambia.