Victor Chaumeau is head entomologist at the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, based in Mae Sot, Thailand, close to the border with Myanmar. He conducts operational research on the entomological aspects of malaria elimination in Kayin state, Myanmar.
His research shows that interventions to control malaria that work well in Africa, such as insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor spraying, are less effective in Southeast Asia owing to the variety of mosquitoes there that feed outside or during the day. Providing antimalarial drugs to select populations prophylactically — known as mass drug administration — vastly reduces the number of mosquitoes carrying the parasite. The work supports the idea that people without symptoms are a major reservoir for malaria, and the strategy could go a long way towards eliminating the disease in Southeast Asia.
"Every year, my team and I collect mosquitoes at about a dozen villages in Kayin state, Myanmar, a conflict zone near the Thai border. Run by the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, based in Mae Sot, Thailand, it’s one of the largest operations of its kind in the world."