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Status of pesticide management in the practice of vector control: a global survey in countries at risk of malaria or other major vector-borne diseases

Henk van den Berg1, Jeffrey Hii2, Agnes Soares3, Abraham Mnzava4, Birkinesh Ameneshewa5, Aditya P Dash6, Mikhail Ejov7, Soo Hian Tan8, Graham Matthews9, Rajpal S Yadav10* and Morteza Zaim10

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8031, 6700EH Wageningen, the Netherlands

2 World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines

3 World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Americas, Washington DC, USA

4 World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt

5 World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe

6 World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, India

7 World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark

8 21 Lorong Abang Openg Lima, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

9 Imperial College, Ascot, UK

10 Vector Ecology and Management, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

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Malaria Journal 2011, 10:125  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-10-125

Published: 14 May 2011



It is critical that vector control pesticides are used for their acceptable purpose without causing adverse effects on health and the environment. This paper provides a global overview of the current status of pesticides management in the practice of vector control.


A questionnaire was distributed to WHO member states and completed either by the director of the vector-borne disease control programme or by the national manager for vector control. In all, 113 countries responded to the questionnaire (80% response rate), representing 94% of the total population of the countries targeted.


Major gaps were evident in countries in pesticide procurement practices, training on vector control decision making, certification and quality control of pesticide application, monitoring of worker safety, public awareness programmes, and safe disposal of pesticide-related waste. Nevertheless, basic conditions of policy and coordination have been established in many countries through which the management of vector control pesticides could potentially be improved. Most countries responded that they have adopted relevant recommendations by the WHO.


Given the deficiencies identified in this first global survey on public health pesticide management and the recent rise in pesticide use for malaria control, the effectiveness and safety of pesticide use are being compromised. This highlights the urgent need for countries to strengthen their capacity on pesticide management and evidence-based decision making within the context of an integrated vector management approach.