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Health Experts Across Latin America Making Waves with Navy Entomology

27 June 2023

From Courtesy Story

(May 29, 2023) - The U.S. Department of State (DoS) facilitated a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) for international public health experts, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023.Selected through the highly competitive International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the premier DoS
(May 29, 2023) - The U.S. Department of State (DoS) facilitated a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) for international public health experts, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023.

Selected through the highly competitive International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the premier DoS professional exchange platform, visitors were provided a firsthand look into the Department of Defense’s only asset dedicated solely to the prevention of vector-borne diseases. Representatives from Argentina, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Venezuela toured NECE to help build partnerships and address gaps in health preparedness.

“It’s truly exciting to be a part of the IVLP network that brings together the best and brightest from around the world to tackle some of the toughest challenges that face us all,” said Cmdr. Ian Sutherland, NECE Officer in Charge. “The skillsets and level of expertise of our international visitors are simply outstanding.”

During the tour, the delegates learned more about NECE’s mission to protect deployed forces from vector-borne diseases and related threats. The group was also introduced to NECE’s Insecticide Resistance and Response System (IRRS) as well as the Hirst Entomology and Vector Ecology (HIVE) reference collection, a unique DoD repository of over 250,000 medically important specimens from around the world. Hands on experience engaging and examining these diverse, medically important specimens provided everyone an up-close look at the full spectrum of the agents of infectious disease.

Engineman First Class Benfry Dejesus (far right) showcases equipment and traps used for insect control to International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) ambassadors during a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023. During the tour, the delegates learned about NECE’s mission to protect deployed forces from vector-borne diseases and related threats. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Lt. Nicholas Johnston)
Engineman First Class Benfry Dejesus (far right) showcases equipment and traps used for insect control to International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) ambassadors during a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023. During the tour, the delegates learned about NECE’s mission to protect deployed forces from vector-borne diseases and related threats. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Lt. Nicholas Johnston)
Engineman First Class Benfry Dejesus (far right) showcases equipment and traps used for insect control to International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) ambassadors during a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023. During the tour, the delegates learned about NECE’s mission to protect deployed forces from vector-borne diseases and related threats. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Lt. Nicholas Johnston)
Health Experts Across Latin America Making Waves with Navy Entomology
Engineman First Class Benfry Dejesus (far right) showcases equipment and traps used for insect control to International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) ambassadors during a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023. During the tour, the delegates learned about NECE’s mission to protect deployed forces from vector-borne diseases and related threats. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Lt. Nicholas Johnston)
Photo By: Desmond Martin
VIRIN: 230529-O-NJ594-1001


“Our visit at NECE was so educational and thoughtful. The visitors enjoyed the combined explanation of history behind the creation of NECE in tandem with the CDC, and additionally having the access to walk through the center and experientially learn and ask questions while viewing workstations, multiple collections of insects, and the newest technology,” said Kristina Escudero, Program Director of GlobalJax.

Technological advances can be better understood through actual observation. As part of the tour, the visitors had the opportunity to view a field deployable platform that uses AI technology to identify mosquitoes and ticks. NECE’s Research and Development Department has actively been using the system to improve rapid identification of disease vectors.

“The visit to NECE has allowed me to get a close look at the development of new entomological surveillance techniques focused on controlling the advance of vectors, based on coordinated work with technology providers that design instruments that facilitate the active search for different pests and vectors,” said Jennifer July Chávez Cristóbal, Technician Team of Preventable Diseases by Vaccinations, National Center of Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Diseases, Lima, Perύ. “The experience has been gratifying and greatly contributed to my professional training, understanding that the challenges require preparation, training, and research to strengthen and intensify epidemiological surveillance in the field.”

Cmdr. Ian Sutherland, NECE Officer in Charge (center), explains the history of Navy entomology to International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) ambassadors during a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023. During the tour, the delegates learned about NECE’s mission to protect deployed forces from vector-borne diseases and related threats. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Lt. Nicholas Johnston)
Cmdr. Ian Sutherland, NECE Officer in Charge (center), explains the history of Navy entomology to International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) ambassadors during a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023. During the tour, the delegates learned about NECE’s mission to protect deployed forces from vector-borne diseases and related threats. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Lt. Nicholas Johnston)
Cmdr. Ian Sutherland, NECE Officer in Charge (center), explains the history of Navy entomology to International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) ambassadors during a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023. During the tour, the delegates learned about NECE’s mission to protect deployed forces from vector-borne diseases and related threats. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Lt. Nicholas Johnston)
Health Experts Across Latin America Making Waves with Navy Entomology
Cmdr. Ian Sutherland, NECE Officer in Charge (center), explains the history of Navy entomology to International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) ambassadors during a special, by-request visit to the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, May 29, 2023. During the tour, the delegates learned about NECE’s mission to protect deployed forces from vector-borne diseases and related threats. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Lt. Nicholas Johnston)
Photo By: Desmond Martin
VIRIN: 230529-O-NJ594-1000


NECE is the Navy and Marine Corps’ Center of Excellence for operational entomology located at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL. NECE’s unique DoD mission is to develop and evaluate novel products, pesticides, and technologies to better protect deployed forces from vectors of disease. NECE also provides operational medical entomology and pest management training to DOD military and civilian personnel and is the program manager for all Navy shipboard pest management. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners.

https://www.med.navy.mil/Navy-Marine-Corps-Public-Health-Center/Field-Activities/Navy-Entomology-Center-of-Excellence/

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