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Mission Mosquito Program Builds International Health Communication Network

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Information sharing collaboration between U.S. Department of State
and Battelle spreads the word about mosquito-borne disease

Mission Mosquito, a collaborative program between the U.S.
Department of State
, Battelle
and an international group of health communicators is off to a
successful start.

During the month of May, health communicators from 19 countries embarked
on a two-week information sharing program aimed at increasing global
engagement in the discussion around mosquito-borne diseases such as
Zika, Malaria, or West Nile Virus. The first Mission Mosquito group
comprised health communication and education professionals, journalists
and media specialists from the Western Hemisphere, Africa, East Asia,
the Pacific, and South/Central Asia.

The cohort of communicators engaged with public and private sector
experts through facilitated trainings, site tours, presentations,
small-group discussions and field visits across four stops in the United
States. At each stop, they shared their unique perspectives and
experiences in the fight against mosquito-borne disease.

The tour began in Atlanta, where the international group received crisis
and emergency risk communications training and met with U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
. Then it was off to
Colorado to discuss the state of the science on mosquito control and
insecticide resistance with researchers at Colorado
State University
. Additional discussions with public health
communicators from CDC's National
Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
and a site tour
of Battelle's National
Ecological Observatory Network's
field site at the Central Plains
Experimental Range followed.

Next was a visit to South Florida, one of the epicenters for the U.S.
response to Zika in 2016. Participants engaged with local governmental
representatives to witness how theory was applied to on-the-ground
response to mosquito-borne disease outbreaks. The last stop was in
Washington, D.C. where they participated in a launch of the new Outbreak
exhibit at the
Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History
and met with staff at the
Department of State.

While in Washington, the group also presented their stories from the
field at the Mission Mosquito Forum on global health security and public
communication. The May 17 gathering took place at the U.S.
Institute of Peace
where more than 100 public and private sector
stakeholders shared lessons learned and innovative solutions to further
prevention strategies to stop the spread of mosquito-borne disease.

While the first phase of the program was a success, Battelle now will
encourage participants to apply the new knowledge, skills, tools, and
networks acquired during the information sharing program through
follow-on pilot projects or public outreach campaigns in their home
countries. Additionally, the cohort will also sustain a communication
network to share stories of impact, best practices, lessons learned, new
research and tools in preventing the future spread of mosquito-borne
disease.

About Battelle

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to
solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national
laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and
development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical
services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in
Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national
security, health and life sciences, energy and environmental industries.
For more information, visit www.battelle.org.

Media Contacts

For more information contact T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or masseytr@battelle.org.

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