Information sharing collaboration between U.S. Department of State and Battelle spreads the word about mosquito-borne disease
COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 23, 2018)—Mission Mosquito, a collaborative program between the U.S. Department of State, Battelle and an international group of health communicators is off to a successful start.
During the month of May, health communicators from 19 countries embarked on a two-week information sharing program aimed at increasing global engagement in the discussion around mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, Malaria, or West Nile Virus. The first Mission Mosquito group comprised health communication and education professionals, journalists and media specialists from the Western Hemisphere, Africa, East Asia, the Pacific, and South/Central Asia.
The cohort of communicators engaged with public and private sector experts through facilitated trainings, site tours, presentations, small-group discussions and field visits across four stops in the United States. At each stop, they shared their unique perspectives and experiences in the fight against mosquito-borne disease.
The tour began in Atlanta, where the international group received crisis and emergency risk communications training and met with U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. Then it was off to Colorado to discuss the state of the science on mosquito control and insecticide resistance with researchers at Colorado State University. Additional discussions with public health communicators from CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and a site tour of Battelle’s National Ecological Observatory Network’s field site at the Central Plains Experimental Range followed.
Next was a visit to South Florida, one of the epicenters for the U.S. response to Zika in 2016. Participants engaged with local governmental representatives to witness how theory was applied to on-the-ground response to mosquito-borne disease outbreaks. The last stop was in Washington, D.C. where they participated in a launch of the new Outbreak exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History and met with staff at the Department of State.
While in Washington, the group also presented their stories from the field at the Mission Mosquito Forum on global health security and public communication. The May 17 gathering took place at the U.S. Institute of Peace where more than 100 public and private sector stakeholders shared lessons learned and innovative solutions to further prevention strategies to stop the spread of mosquito-borne disease.
While the first phase of the program was a success, Battelle now will encourage participants to apply the new knowledge, skills, tools, and networks acquired during the information sharing program through follow-on pilot projects or public outreach campaigns in their home countries. Additionally, the cohort will also sustain a communication network to share stories of impact, best practices, lessons learned, new research and tools in preventing the future spread of mosquito-borne disease.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.
For more information contact T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.