Weekly Awesome Senegal: Volunteer Research Trainings

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Trainers and participants with Julie Thwing of PMI at Peace Corps Senegal's first entomology training, held June 17-19 in Thies.

Trainers and participants with Julie Thwing of PMI (front, 3rd from left) at Peace Corps Senegal’s first entomology training, held June 17-19 in Thies

Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) is part of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative’s (PMI) strategy to reduce malaria rates, and it constitutes about 25 percent of their spending in Senegal. Peace Corps is now working with PMI to help ensure that those dollars are well-spent. One of Senegal’s PMI Resident Advisors, Julie Thwing, has teamed up with Peace Corps and a local parasite laboratory, Service Lutte Anti-Parasite (SLAP), in the city of Thies to train volunteers on entomology research techniques. In June 2013, 14 PCVs participated in a three-day training to learn how to identify the presence and prevalence of malaria vectors–female anopheles mosquitos–around Senegal. Volunteer trainees will collect active feeding mosquitos in sleeping spaces around their host communities and report back to PMI. This will help build up a body of data on mosquito populations so that IRS strategies can be well-informed.

These trainings are the start of many more opportunities, and are happening in conjunction with other malaria-focused research initiatives that involve PCVs. We’re excited to be a part of this research and look forward to future work.!
Training participants identify mosquito larvae in their habitat.

Training participants identify mosquito larvae in their habitat

PCV Philip Kim learns to collect and identify mosquitos from Mr. Diagne from the anti-parasite lab in Thies, Senegal.

PCV Philip Kim learns to collect and identify mosquitos with a trainer from the SLAP anti-parasite lab in Thies

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