Mosquitoes and malaria: Cochrane is on the case

Bednets with insecticide in the fabric reduce child deaths by about one-fifth in malaria areas in Africa – that was the key message of the Cochrane Review published in 1998. Since then the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG) malaria portfolio has expanded to over 70 reviews. CIDG authors have assessed the evidence mainly related to malaria chemoprevention and chemotherapy, with 14 Cochrane Reviews used in formulating recommendations in the third edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines for the Treatment of Malaria. Now, the WHO wants to use evidence synthesis more extensively in their malaria vector control guidelines, and the CIDG is helping to co-ordinate this effort.

Attendees at the ‘Cochrane Reviews and Guideline Development in Malaria Vector Control’ workshop.

Liverpool was the meeting point in early May 2017 for Cochrane authors, editors, entomologists, and others working on a set of reviews to help inform these guidelines. Participants were able to see how the reviews fitted together and related to the guidelines, helped authors to harmonize the reviews, and provided the opportunity for feedback. Seven Cochrane Reviews on mosquito vector control are currently in progress, with collaborators from the LSTM Department of Vector Biology, the Department of Biosciences in Durham, and researchers in Tanzania and Kenya.