Henk van den Berg

Wageningen University, Wageningen, Gelderland, Netherlands

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Publications (25)142.57 Total impact

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    Henk van den Berg · Rajpal Singh Yadav · Morteza Zaim
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    ABSTRACT: Rajpal Singh Yadav and colleagues describe current and future challenges for the management of pesticides used in public health.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · PLoS Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are one of the main interventions used for malaria control. However, these nets may also be effective against other vector borne diseases (VBDs). We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the efficacy of ITNs, insecticide-treated curtains (ITCs) and insecticide-treated house screening (ITS) against Chagas disease, cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis, dengue, human African trypanosomiasis, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · PLoS neglected tropical diseases
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    Henk van den Berg · Rajpal S Yadav · Morteza Zaim
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    ABSTRACT: Background Public health pesticides has been the mainstay control of vectors of malaria and other diseases, and public health pests, but there is increasing concern over how these pesticides are being managed. Poor pesticide management could lead to risks to human health and the environment, or diminish the effectiveness of interventions. Strategies for strengthening the management of public health pesticides, from manufacture to disposal, should be evaluated to propose future directions. Methods The process and outcomes of three strategies were studied in five regions of the WHO (African Region, Eastern Mediterranean Region, South-East Asia Region, Western Pacific Region, and American Region) and 13 selected countries. These strategies are: regional policy development, in-depth country support and thematic support across countries. Results Consensus, frameworks and action plans on public health pesticide management were developed at regional level. Country support for situation analysis and national action planning highlighted weaknesses over the entire spectrum of pesticide management practices, mainly related to malaria control. The thematic support on pesticide quality control contributed to structural improvements on a priority issue for malaria control across countries. Conclusions The three strategies showed promising and complementary results, but guidelines and tools for implementation of the strategies should be further improved. Increased national and international priority should be given to support the development of policy, legislation and capacity that are necessary for sound management of public health pesticides.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Malaria Journal
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    Hindrik Bouwman · Riana Bornman · Henk van den Berg · Henrik Kylin
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    ABSTRACT: 'There was a strange stillness. The birds for example — where had they gone? Many people spoke about them, puzzled and disturbed. The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund: they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices ... only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh.' The book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is mainly about the impacts of chemicals (in particular in particular dichlorodiphenyltrichlorethane also known as DDT) on the environment and human health. Indeed, the close association between humans and birds remains very apt. Representing the only two warm-blooded groups of life on Earth, mammals and birds share the same environments and threats. Carson's claim that she lived in 'an era dominated by industry, in which the right to make a dollar at whatever cost is seldom challenged' still resonates strongly with the problems that societies face all over the world. One chapter heading, 'The obligation to endure', derived from the French biologist and philosopher Jean Rostand's famous observation that, 'the obligation to endure gives us the right to know'. United States President John F. Kennedy responded to the challenge posed by Carson by investigating DDT, leading to its complete ban in the US. The ban was followed by a range of institutions and regulations concerned with environmental issues in the US and elsewhere, driven by public demand for knowledge and protection. DDT was the primary tool used in the first global malaria eradication programme during the 1950s and 1960s. The insecticide is sprayed on the inner walls and ceilings of houses. Malaria has been successfully eliminated from many regions but remains endemic in large parts of the world. DDT remains one of the 12 insecticides — and the only organochlorine compound — currently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), and under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, countries may continue to use DDT. Global annual use of DDT for disease vector control is estimated at more than 5 000 tonnes. It is clear that the social conscience awakened by Rachel Carson 50 years ago gave momentum to a groundswell of actions and interventions that are slowly but steadily making inroads at myriad levels. Chapter 17 of her book, 'The other road' reminds the reader of the opportunities that should have been seized much earlier. With more than 10 % of bird species worldwide now threatened in one way or another, it is clear that we missed early warnings or failed to act on them. Will we continue to miss signposts to 'other roads'? Are our obligations to endure met by our rights to know? As Carson said 50 years ago: 'The choice, after all, is ours to make.'
    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2013
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    Henk van den Berg · Louise A Kelly-Hope · Steve W Lindsay
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    ABSTRACT: The global programmes to eliminate both malaria and lymphatic filariasis are facing operational and technical challenges. Available data show that the use of treated or untreated bednets and indoor residual spraying for malaria control concomitantly reduced filarial rates. In turn, mass drug administration campaigns against lymphatic filariasis can be combined with the distribution of insecticide-treated bednets. Combining these disease control efforts could lead to more efficient use of resources, more accurate attribution of effects, and more effective control of both diseases. Systematic integration requires coordination at all levels, mapping of coendemic areas, and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · The Lancet Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Analysis is lacking on the management of vector control systems in disease-endemic countries with respect to the efficiency and sustainability of operations. Three locations were selected, at the scale of province, municipality and barangay (i.e. village). Data on disease incidence, programme activities, and programme management were collected on-site through meetings and focus group discussions. Adaptation of disease control strategies to the epidemiological situation per barangay, through micro-stratification, brings gains in efficiency, but should be accompanied by further capacity building on local situational analysis for better selection and targeting of vector control interventions within the barangay. An integrated approach to vector control, aiming to improve the rational use of resources, was evident with a multi-disease strategy for detection and response, and by the use of combinations of vector control methods. Collaboration within the health sector was apparent from the involvement of barangay health workers, re-orientation of job descriptions and the creation of a disease surveillance unit. The engagement of barangay leaders and use of existing community structures helped mobilize local resources and voluntary services for vector control. In one location, local authorities and the community were involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of malaria control, which triggered local programme ownership. Strategies that contributed to an improved efficiency and sustainability of vector control operations were: micro-stratification, integration of vector control within the health sector, a multi-disease approach, involvement of local authorities, and empowerment of communities. Capacity building on situational analysis and vector surveillance should be addressed through national policy and guidelines.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Malaria Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor insecticide sprays to control adult mosquito vectors is being threatened by the spread of insecticide resistance. We argue for expanding beyond “insecticide monotherapy” to more sustainable integrated vector management strategies that use optimal suites of control tactics. Experience in agriculture suggests that such integrated approaches can provide more effective and durable pest management. This shift will require increased investment in research and translational science. Failure to act risks a resurgence of malaria and erosion of community support and donor commitment.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · PLoS Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Data on insecticide use for vector control are essential for guiding pesticide management systems on judicious and appropriate use, resistance management, and reduction of risks to human health and the environment. We studied the global use and trends of insecticide use for control of vector-borne diseases for the period 2000 through 2009. A survey was distributed to countries with vector control programs to request national data on vector control insecticide use, excluding the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LNs). Data were received from 125 countries, representing 97% of the human populations of 143 targeted countries. The main disease targeted with insecticides was malaria, followed by dengue, leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease. The use of vector control insecticides was dominated by organochlorines [i.e., DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane)] in terms of quantity applied (71% of total) and by pyrethroids in terms of the surface or area covered (81% of total). Global use of DDT for vector control, most of which was in India alone, was fairly constant during 2000 through 2009. In Africa, pyrethroid use increased in countries that also achieved high coverage for LNs, and DDT increased sharply until 2008 but dropped in 2009. The global use of DDT has not changed substantially since the Stockholm Convention went into effect. The dominance of pyrethroid use has major implications because of the spread of insecticide resistance with the potential to reduce the efficacy of LNs. Managing insecticide resistance should be coordinated between disease-specific programs and sectors of public health and agriculture within the context of an integrated vector management approach.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Environmental Health Perspectives
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    Preview · Dataset · Jan 2012
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    Henk Bouwman · Henk van den Berg · Henrik Kylin

    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Environmental Health Perspectives
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    ABSTRACT: Legislation and regulation of pesticides used in public health are essential for reducing risks to human health and the environment.Objective: We assessed the global situation on legislation and regulatory control of public health pesticides. A peer-reviewed and field-tested questionnaire was distributed to 142 member states of the World Health Organization (WHO); 113 states completed the questionnaire. Legislation on public health pesticides was absent in 25% of the countries. Where present, legislation often lacked comprehensiveness, for example, on basic aspects such as labeling, storage, transport, and disposal of public health pesticides. Guidelines or essential requirements for the process of pesticide registration were lacking in many countries. The capacity to enforce regulations was considered to be weak across WHO regions. Half of all countries lacked pesticide quality control laboratories, and two-thirds reported high concern over quality of products on the market. National statistics on production and trade of pesticides and poisoning incidents were lacking in many countries. Despite the shortcomings, WHO recommendations were considered to constitute a supportive or sole basis in national registration. Also, some regions showed high participation of countries in regional schemes to harmonize pesticide registration requirements. Critical deficiencies are evident in the legislative and regulatory framework for public health pesticides across regions, posing risks to human health and the environment. Recent experience in some countries with situational analysis, needs assessment, action planning, and regional collaboration has signaled a promising way forward.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Environmental Health Perspectives
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    Dataset: (84 KB) PDF

    Preview · Dataset · Jul 2011
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    ABSTRACT: It is critical that vector control pesticides are used for their acceptable purpose without causing adverse effects on health and the environment. This paper provides a global overview of the current status of pesticides management in the practice of vector control. A questionnaire was distributed to WHO member states and completed either by the director of the vector-borne disease control programme or by the national manager for vector control. In all, 113 countries responded to the questionnaire (80% response rate), representing 94% of the total population of the countries targeted. Major gaps were evident in countries in pesticide procurement practices, training on vector control decision making, certification and quality control of pesticide application, monitoring of worker safety, public awareness programmes, and safe disposal of pesticide-related waste. Nevertheless, basic conditions of policy and coordination have been established in many countries through which the management of vector control pesticides could potentially be improved. Most countries responded that they have adopted relevant recommendations by the WHO. Given the deficiencies identified in this first global survey on public health pesticide management and the recent rise in pesticide use for malaria control, the effectiveness and safety of pesticide use are being compromised. This highlights the urgent need for countries to strengthen their capacity on pesticide management and evidence-based decision making within the context of an integrated vector management approach.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Malaria Journal
  • Henk van den Berg
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    ABSTRACT: In this article I reviewed the status of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), used for disease vector control, and its benefits and risks in relation to the available alternatives. Contemporary data on DDT use were obtained from questionnaires and reports as well as a Scopus search to retrieve published articles. Nearly 14 countries use DDT for disease control, and several others are reintroducing DDT. Concerns about the continued use of DDT are fueled by recent reports of high levels of human exposure associated with indoor spraying amid accumulating evidence on chronic health effects. There are signs that more malaria vectors are becoming resistant to the toxic action of DDT. Effective chemical methods are available as immediate alternatives to DDT, but the development of resistance is undermining the efficacy of insecticidal tools. Nonchemical methods are potentially important, but their effectiveness at program level needs urgent study. To reduce reliance on DDT, support is needed for integrated and multipartner strategies of vector control. Integrated vector management provides a framework for developing and implementing effective technologies and strategies as sustainable alternatives to reliance on DDT.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Ciencia & saude coletiva
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    Henk van den Berg
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    ABSTRACT: In this article I reviewed the status of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), used for disease vector control, and its benefits and risks in relation to the available alternatives. Contemporary data on DDT use were obtained from questionnaires and reports as well as a Scopus search to retrieve published articles. Nearly 14 countries use DDT for disease control, and several others are reintroducing DDT. Concerns about the continued use of DDT are fueled by recent reports of high levels of human exposure associated with indoor spraying amid accumulating evidence on chronic health effects. There are signs that more malaria vectors are becoming resistant to the toxic action of DDT. Effective chemical methods are available as immediate alternatives to DDT, but the development of resistance is undermining the efficacy of insecticidal tools. Nonchemical methods are potentially important, but their effectiveness at program level needs urgent study. To reduce reliance on DDT, support is needed for integrated and multipartner strategies of vector control. Integrated vector management provides a framework for developing and implementing effective technologies and strategies as sustainable alternatives to reliance on DDT.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
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    Hindrik Bouwman · Henk van den Berg · Henrik Kylin
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    ABSTRACT: The debate regarding dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in malaria prevention and human health is polarized and can be classified into three positions: anti-DDT, centrist-DDT, pro-DDT. We attempted to arrive at a synthesis by matching a series of questions on the use of DDT for indoor residual spraying (IRS) with literature and insights, and to identify options and opportunities. Overall, community health is significantly improved through all available malaria control measures, which include IRS with DDT. Is DDT "good"? Yes, because it has saved many lives. Is DDT safe as used in IRS? Recent publications have increasingly raised concerns about the health implications of DDT. Therefore, an unqualified statement that DDT used in IRS is safe is untenable. Are inhabitants and applicators exposed? Yes, and to high levels. Should DDT be used? The fact that DDT is "good" because it saves lives, and "not safe" because it has health and environmental consequences, raises ethical issues. The evidence of adverse human health effects due to DDT is mounting. However, under certain circumstances, malaria control using DDT cannot yet be halted. Therefore, the continued use of DDT poses a paradox recognized by a centrist-DDT position. At the very least, it is now time to invoke precaution. Precautionary actions could include use and exposure reduction. There are situations where DDT will provide the best achievable health benefit, but maintaining that DDT is safe ignores the cumulative indications of many studies. In such situations, addressing the paradox from a centrist-DDT position and invoking precaution will help design choices for healthier lives.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Environmental Health Perspectives
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    Henk van den Berg

    Preview · Article · Jan 2010 · Environmental Health Perspectives
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    Henk van den Berg
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    ABSTRACT: I review the status of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), used for disease vector control, along with current evidence on its benefits and risks in relation to the available alternatives. Contemporary data on DDT use were largely obtained from questionnaires and reports. I also conducted a Scopus search to retrieve published articles. DDT has been recommended as part of the arsenal of insecticides available for indoor residual spraying until suitable alternatives are available. Approximately 14 countries use DDT for disease control, and several countries are preparing to reintroduce DDT. The effectiveness of DDT depends on local settings and merits close consideration in relation to the alternatives. Concerns about the continued use of DDT are fueled by recent reports of high levels of human exposure associated with indoor spraying amid accumulating evidence on chronic health effects. There are signs that more malaria vectors are becoming resistant to the toxic action of DDT, and that resistance is spreading to new countries. A comprehensive cost assessment of DDT versus its alternatives that takes side effects into account is missing. Effective chemical methods are available as immediate alternatives to DDT, but the choice of insecticide class is limited, and in certain areas the development of resistance is undermining the efficacy of insecticidal tools. New insecticides are not expected in the short term. Nonchemical methods are potentially important, but their effectiveness at program level needs urgent study. To reduce reliance on DDT, support is needed for integrated and multipartner strategies of vector control and for the continued development of new technologies. Integrated vector management provides a framework for developing and implementing effective technologies and strategies as sustainable alternatives to reliance on DDT.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2009 · Environmental Health Perspectives
  • Henk van den Berg · Willem Takken
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    ABSTRACT: Initiatives on integrated vector management (IVM) approaches are increasingly undertaken as alternatives to existing vector control. An impact model of IVM is presented with performance and impact indicators at six causal steps from coverage of the intervention to impact on disease. Impacts in fields other than health are also discussed because of the emphasis in IVM on capacity building, partnerships and sustainability. A conceptual framework for evaluation of IVM is designed, based on considerations of the selection of indicators, level of inference, cluster size and method of evaluation. The framework, which is tested in three case studies, is intended as guidance for public health workers and policy-makers.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2009 · Trends in Parasitology
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term gonadal sequelae after treatment for childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma with combination chemotherapy, using up to date fertility parameters and andrological evaluation, including for the first time inhibin B. There were 56 male patients treated from 1974-1998 for childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma with combination chemotherapy ABVD or EBVD (adriamycin/epirubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) with or without MOPP (mechlorethamine, vincristin, prednisone, procarbazine) with the intention to avoid radiotherapy. These men were studied 15.5 years (range 5.6-30.2 years) after cessation of therapy. Serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), inhibin B, testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), sperm concentration and sperm DNA integrity were determined. In men treated with MOPP, median FSH and LH were significantly increased (P < 0.001) and inhibin B (17.5 versus 143 ng/l; P < 0.001) and sperm concentration (1.05 versus 49.5 x 10(6)/ml; P < 0.05) were significantly decreased compared with patients treated without MOPP. The number of MOPP courses was significantly correlated with FSH and inhibin B levels. Only inhibin B showed an independent correlation with sperm concentration (r = 0.86; P < 0.001). The use of MOPP chemotherapy causes permanent gonadal damage in the far majority of male survivors of childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma and inhibin B is the most valuable serum marker for gonadal function.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2007 · Human Reproduction