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The Global Challenge of Vector Borne Diseases and How to Control Them

Examine the global challenge of vector-borne diseases and how vector control practices can reduce the risk to public health.

6,919 enrolled on this course

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The Global Challenge of Vector Borne Diseases and How to Control Them

6,919 enrolled on this course

  • 6 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Understand how mosquitoes and other arthropod disease vectors can be controlled

The spread of vector-borne diseases, including malaria, Zika virus and dengue fever, are of global concern.

In 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released their Global Vector Control Response (GVCR) document which promotes a stronger, strategic worldwide approach to controlling vectors of disease.

On this course, you will learn about a wide range of vectors and the diseases they transmit, from the Aedes mosquito and the Zika virus, to the tsetse fly and African sleeping sickness.

You will explore the WHO GVCR document, and will also discover how vector-borne diseases are distributed, and the suitability of vector control practices designed to prevent the spread of these dangerous diseases.


  • Week 1


    • Introduction

      In this section we describe the course, how learning is supported, and introduce each other.

    • Burden of vector borne diseases globally

      In this section, you will learn about the risk, burden and mortality of vector borne diseases across the globe as well as their burden from an economic perspective.

    • Rationale behind vector control

      Learn about the rationale behind vector control programmes.

    • Vector control challenges

      In this section, you will learn about the challenges faced by vector control programmes and what happens when these measures fail.

    • Vector control successes

      Now you have learnt about the challenges to vector control, you will now learn about what happens when these programmes are successful and the impact which they have.

  • Week 2


    • Introduction

      This section provides an introduction to week 2 of our course, which centers around the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Vector Control Response 2017-2030 document (GVCR)

    • Current vector control situation

      This section aims to provide an overview of the current vector control situation. This includes the rationale behind the WHO GVCR as well as opportunities and challenges raised by this document, and the vision, aims and goals.

    • WHO response framework

      In this section, we will learn about the response framework of the WHO GVCR.

    • Enabling factors

      In this section, we cover the 'enabling factors' outlined in the WHO GVCR. This is followed by interviews with collaborators based in disease-endemic countries on their own experiences, a summary of and the quiz for this week.

  • Week 3


    • Introduction

      This section introduces this week, where you will learn about the biology of important vector species as well as an overall introduction to the mosquito, perhaps the most notorious of all disease vectors.

    • Mosquitoes

      In this section, we will cover the biology, habitats, vectored diseases and control of the three main medically important mosquito genera - Aedes, Anopheles and Culex.

    • Ticks

      Learn about the biology, habitats and diseases of ticks.

    • Triatomines

      In this section, you will learn about the biology, habitats and diseases transmitted by Triatomine bugs, also known as 'kissing bugs'.

    • Ticks & Triatomines

      Learn how the biology of both ticks and triatomine bugs can be exploited to facilitate their control.

    • Flies

      Learn about the biology, diseases and habitats of flies.

    • Sandflies

      In this section we will cover the biology, habitats and diseases of sandflies, as well as how their biology can be exploited to facilitate their control.

    • Tsetse Flies

      In this section you will learn about the Tsetse fly, their biology, habitats and the diseases they transmit. You will also learn about the parasite-vector interactions in this species, as well as how to facilitate their control.

  • Week 4


    • Introduction

      An introduction to week 4, where we will learn about traditional vector control methods.

    • Vector control classes

      Here, we will explore the classes of vector control; personal and environmental protection and will explore the usage of household modification in vector borne disease control.

    • Traditional vector control methods

      In this section, we will explore traditional vector control methods in depth including insecticide treated nets, indoor residual spraying and trapping as well as a summary of what you have learnt this week and a quiz.

  • Week 5


    • Introduction

      This section provides an introduction to our penultimate week, week 5. This week we will cover modern vector control.

    • Modern vector control methods

      In this section, you will learn about modern and novel approaches to vector control. We will also cover Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), and its importance in the field of vector control product testing.

    • Successes & failures in vector control

      In this section, we will expand upon what we learnt in week 1 with regards to successes and failures of vector control programmes. We will particularly focus on the challenge of the emergence of insecticide resistance in vectors.

  • Week 6


    • Introduction

      Here, we will introduce our final week. This week is centered around the design and implementation of vector control programmes.

    • Why must vector control be 'integrated'?

      The WHO recommends an integrated approach to vector control/management. In this section you will learn about integrated control as well as the need for different types of control programme and access to data and literature.

    • How to design and implement a vector control programme

      In this section, you will learn more about how to design a vector control program with consideration to monitoring, surveillance and evaluation of these programmes. This section also contains a quiz to test your knowledge.

    • Course review

      Congratulations on reaching the end of the course! Here, we will summarise what you have learnt and what next steps you can take to further your knowledge on vector control. This section also includes acknowledgments.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the lifecycle of mosquitoes, sandflies, tsetse flies, triatoma bugs, and ticks
  • Describe the distribution of these arthropods and diseases transmitted
  • Explore and understand the control methods used against these vectors
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of different vector control strategies
  • Describe examples of successes in vector control
  • Describe how to implement control strategies most effectively and how to design robust studies to collect scientifically rigorous data

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who has an interest in learning more about arthropod disease vectors, their fascinating biology, and how they are controlled.

It is ideal for health workers, vector control researchers, as well as those working and living in countries affected by vector-borne diseases.

Who will you learn with?

Professor James Logan is the Head of the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Director of the Arthropod Control Product Test Centre (ARCTEC)

Over 25years experience developing and implementing tools, capacity and operational research to enhance vector control programmes. Focusing on malaria in Africa and Visceral Leishmania in India.

Research Entomologist and Trial Manager at ARCTEC, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

BSc (Hons) Zoology, MSc Medical Parasitology.

Research Scientist and Clinical Trials Manager with a background in biomedicine, genetics, and implementation of large-scale global clinical trials across 6 WHO regions according to GCP/GLP standards.

- Assistant Trial Manager, ARCTEC at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
- MSc Medical Entomology alumna

Who developed the course?

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world leader in research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Its mission is to improve health and health equity worldwide.


arctec at the LSHTM is a world-leading independent test centre for the evaluation and development of arthropod pest control technologies.

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Breaking the cycle of poor health and poverty since 1898


IVCC works globally to facilitate innovative approaches to preventing vector-borne diseases and tackle the growing threat of insecticide resistance.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 5 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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