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Research on Malaria Controls in Laos

For nearly 20 years since 1995, research on malaria control in Laos has been conducted. In the initial stage, vector mosquitoes, human behavioral modes and the state of malarial infections were defined and successful results achieved with the early introduction of malaria control measures employing long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN). In 2000, the Laotian government presented the Third Class Labor Order for the successes achieved. Thereafter, sociological research on malaria controls has been developed and expanded not only in Laos, but also Thailand, Ghana, Niger and other countries. This work brought to light the importance of the role of the private sector, such as shops and pharmacies, in the early treatment of malaria in Laos. This subsequently developed into a strategy adopted throughout Southeast Asia and known as the Public Private Mix. Also, malaria controls and comprehensive school health strategies were combined to formulate the School Health Based Malaria Control Strategy, which stresses malaria education. Results have been demonstrated in Thailand, Laos and Ghana, which have led to expansion of this strategy to other countries around the world. In July 2014, the Japan Science and Technology Agency started a Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) with its counterpart the Pasteur Institute, which is under the auspices of Ministry of Health in Laos. This is a major research project on malaria control that will be conducted over a period of five years and brings together laboratory and field aspects. The Department of Global Health has put to use its previous experience conducting research on malaria controls in Laos to undertake sociological and epidemiological research, playing the role of connecting laboratory and field.

Access to remote parts of malaria affected areas is gained over waterways in regions where roads have yet to be developed.

Professor Kobayashi receives the Third Class Labor Order from the Laotian government in 1999 for his contributions in controlling malaria.