Vector-borne disease: take a bigger role

mosquito on arm filling with blood

FIP has published a handbook to support pharmacists in preventing, controlling, managing and treating vector-borne diseases

The resource, from the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), notes that some of these diseases, such as malaria and dengue, were previously confined to tropical and subtropical areas but are now spreading to new regions.

This is due to climate change, increased global travel and migration, global trade, deforestation and unplanned urbanisation, says FIP.

As a result FIP is encouraging pharmacists to take a more active role in their prevention and management. 

“Vector-borne diseases account for nearly one fifth of all infectious diseases and cause over 700,000 deaths every year,” said FIP president Dominique Jordan.

“In addition to their health burden, their economic impact is enormous, especially so because they disproportionately affect the world’s poorest countries, particularly in Africa, the Americas and South-East Asia.”

 The new publication, “Vector-borne diseases: A handbook for pharmacists,” produced in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Forum of the Americas, provides an overview of vector-borne diseases and the actions that pharmacists can take. It covers: 

•    education on prevention methods; 
•    advice on the use of repellents;
•    compounding of mosquito repellents;
•    improving vaccination coverage;
•    optimising adherence to treatments; and
•    reducing social stigma.

“Combating vector-borne diseases is fundamental for achieving many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Mr Jordan said.

“Most of these diseases are preventable and pharmacists are ideally placed to support communities and patients in protecting themselves. We hope this handbook will be of great value to pharmacists all around the world.”

The publication can be accessed here.

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