Entomological Surveillance Planning Tool (ESPT)

What is entomological surveillance?

Entomological surveillance is the collection of entomological data over space and time. In the context of mosquito surveillance, entomological surveillance is essential for understanding vector species, specific population dynamics, and behavioral traits that affect disease transmission and intervention effectiveness over time. The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Technical Strategy 2016–2030 outlines five core vector control elements to accelerate progress:

  1. Maximize the impact of vector control
  2. Maintain adequate entomological surveillance and monitoring
  3. Manage insecticide resistance and residual transmission
  4. Strengthen capacity for evidence-driven vector control
  5. Implement malaria vector control in the context of integrated vector management

Entomological surveillance is central to all five elements, and data generated from entomological surveillance should guide intervention selection, targeting, tailoring, and deployment in space and time. Further, entomological surveillance can provide a framework to evaluate complementary strategies and tools.

What is the Entomological Surveillance Planning Tool?

The ESPT is a decision-support tool for planning entomological surveillance activities, interpreting entomological data, and guiding programmatic vector control decisions. The ESPT prioritizes entomological surveillance indicators and activities across transmission settings, geographic areas (sentinel sites versus transmission foci), and levels of program capacity. The ESPT considers how these indicators and activities influence national malaria program decisions about entomological surveillance planning and vector control response.

The ESPT includes practical approaches and priority indicators (i.e., minimum essential indicators) to help answer program questions about local transmission drivers, gaps in protection with current vector control interventions (e.g. insecticide resistance, outdoor biting, etc.), and selecting supplemental vector control interventions to address gaps in protection. In turn, these data, in combination with epidemiological and other data, will help programs tailor vector control solutions, reduce vector populations and human-vector contact, and drive down transmission. The ESPT also includes indicators and methods to improve understanding of human behavior as it relates to increased exposure to infectious mosquito bites, high risk populations (HRPs) that may be contributing to transmission but not accessing malaria preventative and treatment services, and relative costs of entomological surveillance activities since most countries are working with limited resource envelopes.

Who should use this tool and how?

This ESPT is for national malaria program managers, vector control officers, program entomologists, surveillance officers, and M&E officers to use in collaboration with their implementing, technical, and research partners. The ESPT is also for individuals involved in planning entomological surveillance activities and interpreting entomological surveillance data at any country level, such as provincial and district levels.

For entomological data to be useful for malaria program decision-making, data should be collected with a specific programmatically-relevant question(s) in mind. Within the context of answering a national malaria program’s priority questions, the ESPT has several use case scenarios: annual entomological surveillance planning, capacity gap analysis, training framework for entomological surveillance, field and laboratory data collection, integrated data analysis, program-oriented transmission investigations, and intervention evaluations. Once a national malaria program's priority questions are established, the tool will guide the user through distinct modules to determine the indicators necessary to answer the question(s), the appropriate sampling methods and sampling design, and the sites for sampling. The ESPT also supports the user in making viable decisions in the context of available capacity and resources, including human and financial.

ESPT tool

The ESPT tool is available as a PDF document in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Farsi (links below) or as an interactive application for personal computers called the “little” eSPT. The eSPT software features a user-friendly design, engaging educational content, walkthrough videos, interactive decision-trees, and much more. After completing all the steps, the software generates a draft entomological surveillance plan as a Word document containing all inputs. Users can edit the document as appropriate, adding logos, extra text, or figures to tailor the document to their specific use case. The software is currently available in English and Portuguese, and additional languages are in development.

 Mac download

 Windows download (EXE - 204 MB)

* The ESPT tool was independently translated into Farsi by the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education and the Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences (Iran).