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African Malaria Dialogue features 2013 Jerusalem Declaration

June 23, 2014 - 11:36 -- William Jobin

African Malaria Dialogue features 2013 Jerusalem Declaration about fighting Malaria in Africa

Dialogue on 18 June 2014

Our usual informal luncheon turned out even better than expected. We met in the outer courtyard of the restaurant ‘Au Bon Pain’ in Harvard Square of Cambridge, Massachusetts, on a beautiful summer day.

Column: Bad science is just filth in the brain!

June 19, 2014 - 20:05 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Bear with me…. This complaint is not new, I know, but it is one that should be reiterated many times over: there is an extremely large gap in knowledge between researchers and the general public, and this is not good!
 
Certainly you must have come across people’s scientific ideas on trams, buses and trains (for those of us who do use public transport) or maybe at a dinner party or BBQ you are attending, or even, like I did, while waiting for your take-away food. The topics that come up more often are related to nutrition (it seems that the 5:2 diet is all the rage right now), the benefits of certain exercises (how billions of people are alive today without ever having done Yoga is perplexing to some) and more and more, the dangers of vaccines. In all of these discussions, give or take, the ‘science’ facts that are discussed are simply quick scans of a newspaper headline or maybe the first paragraph of the news article or worst, a facebook post on a friends wall that was read last night or this morning. Somehow, these quick, unreferenced, snippets of information get stuck in people’s minds and actually help set the foundations to very strong opinions. Usually, pathetic ones...

Column: How fragile we are

June 19, 2014 - 19:47 -- Bart G.J. Knols
So you live in South Sudan. Your nation exists for just less than two years, but unfortunately has been the scene of rivalry and outspoken conflict. You, together with hundreds of thousands fellow countrymen have had to flee. You have arrived in Ethiopia, after a difficult journey partly by foot and partly by boat. You have arrived in Ethiopia, you are safe.
 
Ethiopia has arranged for refugee camps sites to be set up to accommodate many of you. Unfortunately, the area is seasonally affected by malaria. And although you are very familiar with the dark side of malaria, it is the least of worries to you now. You have to get registered; you need to get food, cooking materials, and accommodation. Accommodation is a big word for the variety of tents, tukuls, plastic sheeting and other forms of shelter you see. But you collect what you can, and you get a net...

Review of 'what works' in elimination advocacy

June 19, 2014 - 18:55 -- MESA Alliance
Malaria Journal publishes an Open Access timely review of 'what works' in elimination advocacy. The authors identify 7 key advocacy elements for disease elimination:
 
  1. A global elimination plan, supported by international health bodies.
  2. Thorough costings and tools to support the business case.
  3. An approach that is positioned within a development framework.
  4. Core elimination advocacy messages.
  5. Provision of advocacy tools for partners.
  6. Extensive and effective community engagement.
  7. Strong partnerships

Sudden jumps in per capita cost of US PMI operations

June 19, 2014 - 15:18 -- William Jobin

In April the US PMI issued their 8th Annual Report to the US Congress on their malaria suppression operations in Africa. In the first table of the Appendix One of this report they gave their total expenditures for Africa, and also the coverage they had in each country with their spray operations. Adjusting these figures to reflect only their African operations, it appears that there have been two sudden jumps in their per capita costs.

Who keeps track of it all? We're seeking nominations!

June 12, 2014 - 20:26 -- Bart G.J. Knols

As a malaria professional you are supposed to keep track of what is happening in our field. That's nothing new. As scholars, researchers, policy makers, doctors, students, etc. we read about new developments, we read scientific articles, and follow the news. And in doing so we are familiar with who is doing what, follows what approach, and is seeking for new solutions to end our common enemy. Again, that is nothing new. But allow us to challenge you... 

Column: Malaria in Shakespeare’s land

June 12, 2014 - 20:01 -- Bart G.J. Knols
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....”. Although actually this is one of the most famous introductions of the history of movies (and I am pretty sure that most of my readers have recognized it), this is also, in many senses, the way many health professionals think about malaria. Many western doctors and nurses see paludism (malaria) as a remote and tropical disease, even covered with a flavour of romanticism. The truth is that malaria has been prevalent in areas as far north as the city of Groningen (at 53º North) in Holland and has been active until the last decades of the 20th Century in countries as, among many others, The Netherlands, Spain or Australia. In some instances, as Spain or Italy, malaria was not completely eradicated until the 50s or 60s. For example, a breakout of indigenous cases of malaria was confirmed as late as 1972 in Corsica, the French Island of the Mediterranean Sea.

MIT Alumni suggest Exit Strategies for Malaria Suppression in Africa

June 12, 2014 - 11:42 -- William Jobin

MIT ALUMNI SUGGEST MALARIA ELIMINATION STRATEGIES FOR AFRICA

7 JUNE 2014

At a Reunion of the Class of 1959 in June 2014 under the Great Dome of MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, several suggestions were developed for an Exit Strategy from the fight against malaria in Africa. Malaria currently kills about a million Africans per year, mostly children who succumb to the extreme fevers transmitted by night-biting mosquitoes.

World Cup and malaria

June 10, 2014 - 15:19 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Roll Back Malaria today released a small video about football player Didier Drogba - who suffered malaria and is now an ambassador for our cause.

We ask our readers: What do you think of this video? Will it serve its purpose? Will it reach its target audience?

We are curious to know your thoughts. Is this good money spent on advocacy or a simplified message only mentioning nets?

The social press release is attached to this blog.

Column: No Substitute for Local Expertise

June 5, 2014 - 17:25 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
A regional powerhouse in operational malaria research, training and policy
 
A three year old boy cowers behind his mother, looking up at me with tears in his tired eyes. I quietly greet his mother in Chichewa, the language common to the Southern region of Malawi. It takes time to gain an audience not only with this tiny, frightened child, but also with his mother. I smile, being sure not to reveal my teeth, surely to bring on further tears and sit next to her on the bench in our workspace. She smells of wood fire kitchen smoke and sweat from her 5 kilometer walk to our malaria research center at the District Hospital in Machinga, Malawi.

Prestigious NWO-Vidi grant to start a new malaria research group

June 3, 2014 - 11:37 -- Taco Kooij

Dear friends & colleagues,
I am extremely honoured, proud, and happy to announce that I have been awarded a prestigious Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to start my own independent malaria research lab in Nijmegen. Below follows a press release providing further details.
Taco

Publication: Planning meeting for operational research on malaria elimination. WHO Meeting report May 2014

June 2, 2014 - 15:50 -- MESA Alliance

Number of pages: 9
Publication date: 2014
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/HTM/ GMP/2014.5

Main objectives: reviewing the malaria operational research landscape; identifying operational challenges, bottlenecks and priority research questions in the transition from malaria control towards elimination; and reaching agreement among the meeting participants on the next steps, roles and responsibilities.

malaria and local blogging

May 31, 2014 - 19:33 -- Cliff Landesman

Why is there so little blogging about malaria from a local perspective? Those who live in regions of endemic malaria are not writing about it. As a result, it is hard to follow progress in combating malaria in a particular region. For example, I have an interest in malaria in western Kenya. However, it is difficult to know what programs are in place there, who is involved, what progress has been made. I am willing to bet that there is not a single blog anywhere where people living in an endemic region talk about malaria.

En Francais - Do you see patients with cerebral malaria? ...Or know someone who does?

May 30, 2014 - 01:34 -- Lakshmi Swamy

------------- Enquête sur le diagnostic du neuropaludisme--------------------
Nous sommes un groupe de médecins de l'université Duke aux États-Unis et de l'Université de Liverpool au Royaume-Uni. Notre objectif étant de mieux comprendre comment les médecins parviennent à poser un diagnostic de neuropaludisme, nous avons réalisé une enquête à ce sujet.

Exit strategy for conquering African malaria

May 22, 2014 - 21:30 -- William Jobin

If we limit ourselves to the conventional approaches to fighting malaria - drugs, bednets and biocides - the future looks bleak. It looks like an endless war. The war started about 1950 when DDT and chloroquine looked like perfect weapons. But since then the development of resistance has shown us how ephemeral they were. The mosquitoes began to eat DDT for breakfast, and the malaria parasites learned to swim in chloroquine. Historians are showing us that malaria has incredible tenacity in Africa. We long for a solution to this horrible problem - an Exit Strategy.

Column: Could Gorgas succeed in the 21st Century?

May 22, 2014 - 20:53 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This year marks a century since the official opening of the Panama Canal, one of the most iconic structures, one of the greatest engineering feats of all times, a symbol of technological prowess and ingenuity, and a testament of the sheer determination of the human spirit. While commemorating the monumental accomplishment embodied in this gigantic undertaking, we should take a pause to remember the thousands of lives lost during its construction to accidents and mosquito-borne diseases.
 
Besides the sheer magnitude of the project, one of the greatest challenges the builders of the Panama Canal faced was dealing with mosquito-borne diseases common to the area. When the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal on May 4, 1904, the Isthmus of Panama was under the firm control of tropical diseases. By then, approximately 12,000 workers had perished during the construction of the Panama Railway and over 22,000 during the French attempt to build the canal. Many of these deaths were due primarily to yellow fever and malaria. In fact, construction of the Panama Railway was stopped several times due to the lack of healthy workers. American project managers quickly realized that previous disease control efforts were ineffective and something had to be done. Armed with the information provided by Sir Ronald Ross in India in 1897 that malaria was spread by mosquitoes, mosquito control methods were implemented as part of the Panama Canal construction project...

Malaria eradication: Doing it better the second time round

May 22, 2014 - 20:40 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This guest editorial was contributed by Dr. Carlos Chaccour - he and his team are currently running an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to further develop ivemectin as an anti-malaria strategy. Visit the campaign's website by clicking here.
 
The eighth World Health Assembly took action to “help put an eventual end to an ancient problem. Malaria, the single most serious worldwide communicable disease…” [1]. The meeting took place in Mexico in May 1955. In exactly a year we will mark the 50th anniversary of the launching of the Global Malaria Eradication Programme (1955-1969). Several reasons have been given for the failure of this multinational endeavour to achieve its primary goal. Vertical structures, a lack of community integration and the (almost) exclusive use of indoor-residual spraying are some of them. The resulting program was not particularly flexible nor quick enough to spot and correct some of these failures before international support was withdrawn [2]...

Need for some effective coordination in malaria control interventions

May 19, 2014 - 17:31 -- Clive Shiff

Wherever malaria has been eliminated, success was likely to have been based on the interplay of a series of mechanisms. In the United States it may have coincided with the advent of residual insecticides, but there were a variety of factors associated with the success. These were seasonal changes, environmental factors, political decisions that affected where people could live, the advent of improved treatments and increase in wealth and improvement of living standards. The same can be said of Italy and much of Europe in the early part of the 20th Century.

Milk, the forgotten antimalarial

May 19, 2014 - 13:30 -- Pierre Lutgen

It all begins in 1952 with the work of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (BG Maegraith et al, British Medical Journal, 1952, 1382-3). They found that in rats inoculated with Plasmodium berghei and living on a diet of milk there was a strong suppression of the growth of the parasites. This was valid for retail whole cow’s milk, reconstituted dried milk from different origins and human milk. Most rats on normal laboratory diet died in a few days.

Second paper on economic benefits of malaria suppression

May 13, 2014 - 17:12 -- William Jobin

Greetings,

I appreciate the publication of my first paper on economic benefits from suppressing malaria in Africa, printed in the MWJ of 2014 v5 n4 and cited on the MWJ webpage. I demonstrated that the return on investment in malaria suppression was about 6.5 to 1, a really good investment, don't you think?

New publications from WHO GMP

May 13, 2014 - 08:30 -- MESA Alliance
Tags: 
Safety review of 8-aminoquinoline antimalarial medicines
 
Written by external authors, this document reviews published and unpublished studies about the safety of primaquine and its precursors, with particular attention to haemolytic anaemia in G6PD-deficient individuals. The study was prepared for and discussed at a 2012 meeting of the WHO evidence review group on the safety and effectiveness of single-dose primaquine as a P. falciparum gametocytocide.
 
Elimination scenario planning
 
WHO has published a manual to help malaria-endemic countries to assess the feasibility of moving towards elimination. The new guide provides a comprehensive framework to assess different scenarios and timelines for reducing the disease burden and moving towards elimination, depending on programme coverage and funding availability.

Artemisia sieberi and bicarbonate : a revolutionary mixture from Palestine

May 11, 2014 - 18:48 -- Pierre Lutgen

The mode of action of quinine and chloroquine is almost exclusively based on the inhibition of the crystallization of heme into hemozoin, killing plasmodium in its own digestive rejects. In several papers M Akkawi from the Al Quds University in Palestine has shown that extracts of several medicinal plants : Salvia officinalis, Artemisia sieberi, Artemisia afra, Artemisia annua, Inula viscosa had similar effects, in some cases equivalent or better than chloroquine for the inhibition of beta-hematin (see literature references below).

Column: The IPCC, malaria and climate change: neither scaremongering or ignorant

May 8, 2014 - 18:51 -- Bart G.J. Knols
I freely admit that I have not read all 2155 pages of the draft report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released last month. Furthermore, I am not an expert on global climate change. However, motivated by this report and a recent comment posted to MalariaWorld entitled ‘IPCC, malaria and climate: scaremonging or ignorance’ (1), I will try to relate the IPCC assessments of climate change to malaria and the future...

Launch of the MESA Alliance YouTube channel

May 6, 2014 - 09:33 -- MESA Alliance
Tags: 
The MESA Alliance YouTube Channel highlights great lectures, R&D, and lessons from malaria programmes from all over the malaria community. The channel adds another tool to MESA's function of highlighting great science from the community to the community. Browse the various playlists from 'Basic Science' to 'Eradication Strategies', and subscribe to the channel so you receive notifications when new content is posted.  Please send video suggestions to MESA@isglobal.org.

Column: Mass Drug Administration – A Kaleidoscope of New Opportunities?

May 5, 2014 - 20:19 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Mass Drug Administration (MDA) is a tantalizing tool that can support elimination efforts and help dramatically knock down malaria prevalence.  Why isn’t it more widely used?

by George Jagoe

The use of medicines on a mass scale to wipe out parasite reservoirs and improve individual patient health status is enormously appealing.   The annals of public health victories show how judicious mass-drug-administration (MDA) has rolled back the burden of horrific parasitic diseases (e.g. river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma).    At its best, MDA marries the optimal use of effective drugs with well-coordinated delivery to improve disease outcomes radically...

Rotary in support of Artemisia annua

May 3, 2014 - 17:33 -- Pierre Lutgen

In the April 2014 issue the magazine Rotary Contact from Belgium-Luxembourg duly recognized he efforts and results achieved by Rotarians from Ieper and Luxembourg in the promotion of Artemisia annua tea against malaria. Geert Flamang has launched plantations in Katanga and Pierre Lutgen has run clinical trials in several African countries which demonstrate an efficiency of >95%. These trials have allowed to show that the antimalarial potency can be increased by using the dried leaves in lieu of aqueous extracts, as powder in capsules or mixed with food.

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